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'    ^IZ 


THE  MEMOIRS  OF 

PHILIP  DE  COMMINES 

LORD    OF    ARGENTON 


CONTAINING  THE  HISTORIES  OF  LOUIS  XI.  AND  CHARLES  VIIL, 
KINGS  OF   FRANCE,   AN' I)  OF   CHARLES  THE   BOLD, 
DUKE   OF   BURGUNDY 


TO     WHICH      IS     ADDED 

THE    SCANDALOUS    CHRONICLE 
OR    SECRET    HISTORY    OF    LOUIS    XL 

By   JEAN  DE   TROYES 

EDITED     WITH     LIFE     AND     NOTES     BY 

ANDREW   R.    SCOBLE 


VOL.   II. 


LONDON 

G.    BELL    &    SONS,    LTD. 

1912 


ISAAC  FOOT 
LIBRARY 


") 


[Reprinted  from  Stereotype  platee.J 


CONTEXTS 

Off 

THE   SECOND   VOLUME. 


BOOK   THE    SIXTH. 

Chapter  I. — How  the  King  of  France  cajoled  the  English  after 
the  Duke  of  Burgundy's  Death,  for  fear  they  should  have  interrupted 
him  in  the  Conquest  of  the  Territories  belonging  to  the  said 
Duke  ......  page  \ 

Ch.  II. — Of  the  Conclusion  of  the  Marriage  between  the  Princess  of 
Burgundy  and  Maximilian  Duke  of  Austria,  and  since  Emperor       9 

Ch.  III. — How  King  Louis,  by  the  Management  of  Charles  d'Amboise 
his  Lieutenant,  recovered  many  Towns  in  Burgundy,  which  the  Prince 
of  Orange  had  persuaded  to  revolt  from  him  -  -       18 

Ch.  IV.  —  How  the  Lord  of  Argenton  was  sent  to  Florence  during  the 
Wars  in  Burgundy,  and  how  he  received  Homage  of  the  Duke  of 
Milan,  in  the  King's  Name,  for  the  Duchy  of  Genoa     -  25 

Ch.  V.—  Of  the  Lord  of  Argenton's  lieturn  out  of  Italy  into  France, 
and  of  the  Battle  of  Guinegaste  -  -  -  -       32 

Ch.  VI. — How  King  Louis  was  surprised  with  a  Malady  that  for  some 
Time  took  away  the  Use  of  both  his  Senses  and  Tongue ;  how  he 
recovered  and  relapsed  several  Times,  and  how  he  kept  himself  in 
his  Castle  at  Plessis  les  Tours  -  -  -  -       36 

Ch.  VII.  —  How  the  King  sent  for  the  Holy  Man  of  Calabria  to 
Tours,  supposing  he  could  cure  him  ;  and  of  the  strange  Things  that 
were  done  by  the  King,  during  his  Sickness,  to  preserve  his  Autho- 
rity    -  -----..       54 

Ch.  VIII.  —  Of  the  Conclusion  of  the  Marriage  between  the  Dauphin 
and  Margaret  of  Flanders,  and  how  she  was  brought  into  France  ; 
upon  which  Edward  IV.,  King  of  England,  died  with  Displeasure     58 

Ch.  IX.  —  How  the  King  behaved  towards  his  Neighbours  and  Sub- 
jects during  his  Sickness  ;  and  how  several  Things  were  sent  him 
from  several  Parts  for  the  Recovery  of  his  Health         -  -       65 

Cm.  X  — How  King  Louis  sent  for  his  Son  Charles  a  little  before  his 
Death  ;  and  the  Precepts  and  Commands  which  he  laid  upon  him 
and  others       -  -  -      <"> 


IV  CONTENTS    OP 

Ch.  XI.  —  A  Comparison  of  the  Troubles  and  Sorrows  which  King 
Louis  suffered,  with  those  he  had  brought  'upon  other  People  ; 
with  a  Continuation  of  his  Transactions  till  the  Time  of  his 
Death  ......  Page  70 

Cn.  XII. — A  Digression  concerning  the  Miseries  of  Mankind,  especially 
of  Princes,  by  the  Example  of  those  who  reigned  in  the  Author's 
Time,  and  chiefly  of  King  Louis  -  -  -  -       80 


BOOK  THE  SEVENTH. 

Ch.  T. — How  Duke  Rene  of  Lorraine  came  into  France  to  demand  the 
Duchy  of  Bar  and  the  County  of  Provence,  which  King  Charles  had 
in  his  Possession ;  and  how  he  failed  to  obtain  the  Kingdom  of 
Naples,  to  which  he  laid  Claim  as  well  as  the  King  ;  and  what  Right 
each  had  thereto         -  -  -  -  -  -93 

Ch.  II. — How  the  Prince  of  Salerno,  a  Neapolitan  by  Birth,  came 
into  France;  and  the  Endeavours  that  were  used  by  him  and  Ludovic 
Sforza,  surnamed  the  Moor,  to  persuade  the  King  to  make  War  upon 
the  King  of  Naples  ;  and  the  Occasion  of  it      -  -  -     100 

Cn.  III.—  How  the  Duchy  of  Milan  is  one  of  the  finest  and  most  va- 
luable Territories  in  the  World,  if  relieved  from  the  heavy  Tribute 
which  oppresses  it-  -  -  -  -  -106 

Ch.  IV.  —  How  King  Charles  VIII.  made  Peace  with  the  King  of  the 
Romans  and  the  Archduke  of  Austria  •,  and  returned  the  Lady  Mar- 
garet of  Flanders  to  them  before  his  Expedition  to  Naples         -     110 

Ch.  V. — How  the  King  sent  to  the  Venetians,  in  order  to  induce  them 
to  enter  into  an  Alliance  with  him,  before  undertaking  his  Expedition 
to  Naples  ;  and  of  the  Preparations  in  order  to  it         -  -     119 

Ch.  VI. — How  King  Charles  set  out  from  Vienne,  in  Dauphiny,  to  con- 
quer Naples  in  Person  ;  and  the  Action  that  was  performed  by  his 
Fleet,  under  the  Command  of  the  Duke  of  Orleans       -  -     124 

Ch.  VII.— How  the  King,  being  at  Asti,  resolved  to  go  in  Person  into 
the  Kingdom  of  Naples,  by  the  Persuasion  and  Advice  of  Ludovic 
Sforza  :  how  Philip  de  Commutes  was  sent  on  an  Embassy  to  Venice, 
and  of  the  Duke  of  Milan's  Death         -  -  -  -     129 

Ch.  VIII. — How  and  by  what  Means  the  Lord  Ludovic  seized  and 
usurped  the  Lordship  and  Duchy  of  Milan,  and  was  received  by  the 
Milanese  as  their  Sovereign     -  -  -  -  -     132 

Ch.  IX.  -  How  Peter  de  Medicis  put  Four  of  his  strongest  Garrisons 
into  the  King's  Possession  ;  and  how  the  King  restored  Pisa,  which 
was  one  of  them,  to  its  ancient  Liberty  ...     134 

Ch.  X. — How  the  King  departed  from  Pisa  to  go  to  Florence  ;  and  of 
the  Flight  and  Destruction  of  Peter  de  Medicis  -  -     139 

Ch.  XL — How  the  King  made  his  Entrance  into  Florence,  and  what 
other  Towns  he  passed  through  in  his  March  to  Rome  -  -     1 43 

Ch  XII. —  How  the  King  sent  the  Cardinal  of  St.  Peter  ad  Vincula 
(who  was  afterwards  Pope  by  the  name  of  Julius  II  )  to  Ostia ;  wh*j 


THE   SECOND   VOLUME.  ft 

the  Pope  did  at  Rome  in  the  Meantime ;  and  how  the  King  entered 
Rome,  notwithstanding  all  the  Endeavours  of  his  Enemies  to  the  con- 
trary ;  and  of  the  Factions  between  the  Ursini  and  the  Colonne  in 
Rome  -  -        Page  145 

Ch.  XIIL  —  How  King  Alphonso  caused  his  Son  Ferrand  to  be  crowned 
King  ;  his  Flight  into  Sicily  ;  and  of  the  evil  Life  his  Father  (old  Fer- 
rand) and  he  had  led  during  their  Reigns  -  -  -149 

Ch.  XIV.  —  How  King  Alphonso  fled  into  Castile  and  did  Penance  153 

Ch.  XV.  —  How,  after  Ferrand  the  Younger  was  crowned  King  of  Naple9, 
he  encamped  with  his  Forces  at  St.  Germain,  in  order  to  oppose  King 
Charles ;  and  of  the  Agreement  King  Charles  made  with  the  Pope 
during  his  stay  at  Rome  -  -  -  -  -     157 

Ch.  XVI.  —  How  the  King  departed  from  Rome  to  Naples ;  of  the 
Transactions  in  that  Kingdom  in  the  Meantime ;  and  an  Account  of 
the  Places  the  Kins  of  France  passed  through  in  his  March       -     159 

Ch.  XVII.  —  How  King  Charles  was  crowned  King  of  Naples ;  the 
Errors  he  committed  in  his  Government  of  that  Kingdom  ;  and  of  the 
Discovery  of  a  Design  in  his  Favour  against  the  Turks  by  the  Vene- 
tians    -  -  -  -  -  -  -  •     163 

Ch.  XVIIL — A  Digression  o»-  Discourse,  by  no  Means  unconnected 
with  the  main  Subject,  in  which  Philip  de  Commines,  Author  of  this 
present  Book,  speaks  at  some  Length  of  the  State  and  Government 
of  the  Signory  of  Venice,  and  of  what  he  saw,  and  what  was  done, 
while  he  was  Ambassador  from  the  King  of  France  in  the  City  of 
Venice  -  -  -  -  -  -  -168 

Ch.  XIX.  —  What  were  the  Subjects  of  the  Embassy  of  the  Lord  of 
Argenton  to  the  Republic  of  Venice     -  -  -  -     173 

Ch,  XX How  the  Lord  of  Argenton  was  informed  that  the  King  had 

gained  Possession  of  Naples  and  the  Places  round  about ;  at  which 
the  Venetians  were  displeased  -  -  -  -  -177 


BOOK  THE  EIGHTH. 

Ch.  I.  —  Of  the  Order  in  which  the  King  left  his  Affairs  in  the  Kingdom 
of  Naples  upon  his  Return  into  France  -  -  -     183 

Ch.  IL  —  How  the  King  departed  from  Naples,  and  returned  to  Rome, 
from  whence  the  Pope  fled  to  Orvieto ;  of  the  Conference  the  King 
had  with  the  Lord  of  Argenton  upon  his  Return  from  Venice ;  and 
his  Deliberation  about  the  Restitution  of  the  Florentine  Towns  -  186 

Ch.  III. — Of  the  memorable  Preachings  of  Friar  Jerome  of  Florence  189 

Ch.  IV.  —  How  the  King  retained  Pisa  and  several  other  Florentine 
Towns  in  his  Hands,  while  the  Duke  of  Orleans  on  the  other  Side  en- 
tered Novara,  in  the  Duchy  of  Milan     -  -  -  -     191 

Ch.  V. —  How  King  Charles  crossed  several  dangerous  Passages  over  the 
Mountains  between  Pisa  and  Sarzana;  and  how  the  Germans  burned 
Pontremoli        -  -  -  -  -  -  -194 

Ch.  VL  —  How  the  Duke  of  Orleans  behaved  himself  in  the  City  of 
Novara  •  •  •  -  191 

VOL.  U.  » 


VI  CONTENTS   OP 

Ch.  VII.  —  How  the  Kins;  passed  the  Apennine  Mountains  with  his 
Train  of  Artillery,  by  the  Assistance  of  the  Swiss;  and  of  the  great 
Danger  to  which  the  Marshal  de  Gie  and  his  whole  Vanguard  were 
exposed  ..--_..         Page  199 

Ch.  VIII.  —  How  the  Marshal  de  Gie  withdrew  with  his  Army  to  the 
Mountains,  and  waited  until  the  King  came  up  to  him  -     202 

Ch.  IX.  —  How  the  King  and  his  small  Army  arrived  at  Fornovo,  near 
the  Camp  of  his  Enemies,  who  awaited  him  in  very  fine  Order,  and 
with  a  Determination  to  defeat  and  capture  him  -  -     204 

Ch.  X.  —  The  Arrangement  of  the  two  Armies  for  the  Battle  of  For- 
novo   --------     207 

Ch.  XI.  —  How  Parleys  were  vainly  attempted;  and  the  Beginning  of 
the  Battle  of  Fornovo  -  -  -  -  -211 

Ch.  XII.  — Consequences  of  the  Victory  gained  by  the  French  at 
Fornovo;  and  the  Danger  to  which  King  Charles  VIII.  found  him- 
self exposed  -  -  -  -  -  -  -215 

Ch.  XIII.  —  How  the  Lord  of  Argenton  went  alone  to  parley  with 
the  Enemy,  upon  the  Refusal  of  those  that  were  deputed  to  go  along 
with  him,  and  of  the  King's  safe  Arrival  with  his  whole  Army  at 
Asti     --------     220 

Ch  XIV.  —  How  the  Swiss  secured  the  French  Army  in  its  Re- 
treat    --------     226 

Ch.  XV.  —  How  the  King  fitted  out  a  Fleet  with  an  Intention  to 
have  relieved  the  Castles  of  Naples;  and  of  the  Miscarriage  of  that 
Design  ...  .  .  .     228 

Ch.  XVL  —  Of  the  great  Famine  and  Misery  to  which  the  Duke  of 
Orleans  and  his  Army  were  reduced  at  Novara:  of  the  Death  of  the 
Marchioness  of  Montferrat:  of  the  Death  of  the  Duke  of  Vendome; 
and  the  Conclusion  of  a  Peace  for  the  Preservation  of  the  besieged 
after  several  Negotiations  -----     232 

Ch.  XVII. — How  the  Duke  of  Orleans  and  his  Army  were  delivered 
upon  Terms  of  Accommodation  from  the  dire  Misery  they  suffered 
during  their  being  besieged  in  Novara;  and  of  the  Arrival  of  the 
Swiss  that  came  to  the  Relief  of  the  King  and  the  said  Duke  of 
Orleans  -  -  -  -  -  -  -     242 

Ch.  XVIII. — How  Peace  was  concluded  between  the  King  and  the 
Duke  of  Orleans  on  the  one  Part,  and  the  League  on  the  other; 
and  of  the  Conditions  and  Articles  contained  in  that  Treaty  of 
Peace  --------     245 

Ch.  XIX.  —  How  the  King  sent  the  Lord  of  Argenton  to  Venice  again, 
to  invite  the  Venetians  to  accept  the  Terms  of  Peace  that  were  offered, 
which  the  Venetians  refused;  and  of  the  Tricks  and  Jugglings  of 
the  Duke  of  Milan      ------     248 

Ch.  XX.  —  How  the  King  forgot  those  that  were  left  behind  at 
Naples,  upon  his  Return  into  France;  and  of  the  Dauphin's  Death, 
which  was  a  great  Affliction  to  the  King  and  Queen     -  -     253 

Ch.  XXI.  —  How  the  King  received  News  of  the  Loss  of  the  Castle  of 
Naples;  of  the  selling  of  the  Towns  belonging  to  the  Florentines  to 


THE    SECOND   VOLUME.  Vll 

several  Persons;  of  the  Treaty  of  Atella  in  Apulii),  mL..h  to  the 
Prejudice  of  the  French;  and  of  the  Death  of  Ferrand,  King  of 
Naples  ...-_-  Page  257 

Ch.  XXII.  — How  several  Plots  were  formed  (in  Favour  of  our  King) 
by  some  of  the  Italian  Princes,  not  only  for  the  Recovery  of  Naples, 
but  for  the  Destruction  of  the  Duke  of  Milan;  how  they  miscarried 
for  want  of  Supplies;  and  how  another  Design  against  Genoa  came 
to  the  same  ill  End       ------     264 

Ch.  XXIII.  —  Of  certain  Differences  that  arose  between  Charles  King 
of  France  and  Ferrand  King  of  Castile;  and  the  Ambassadors  whs 
were  sent  by  both  of  them  to  accommodate  the  Affair  -  -     26o 

Ch.  XXIV. — A  Digression  concerning  the  Fortunes  and  Misfort»ne9 
which  happened  to  the  House  of  Castile  in  the  Author's  Time       277 

Ch.  XXV.  —  Of  the  magnificent  Building  which  King  Charles  began 
not  long  before  his  Death;  his  good  Inclination  to  reform  the  Church, 
the  Laws,  the  Treasury,  and  himself;  and  how  he  died  suddenly  in 
this  Resolution  in  his  Castle  at  Amboise  -  -  -     281 

Ch.  XXVI.  —  How  holy  Friar  Jerome  was  burned  at  Florence  by  the 
Malice  and  Solicitation  of  the  Pope,  and  several  Venetians  and  Flo- 
rentines who  were  his  Enemies  ....     284 

Ch.  XXVII.  —  Of  the  Obsequies  and  Funeral  of  King  Charles  VIII., 
and  the  Coronation  of  his  Successor  Louis  XII. ;  with  the  Genealogies 
of  the  Kings  of  France  to  King  Louis  XIL     -  287 


THE   SCANDALOUS   CHRONICLE. 

The  Chronicles  of  the  very  Christian  and  very  victorious  Louis  of 
Valois,  late  King  of  France  (whom  God  absolve),  with  various  other 
Adventures  which  occurred  both  in  the  Realm  of  France  and  in 
neighbouring  Countries  from  the  Year  1460  until  1483  iiiclu- 
fively   -...>-•  <s    %?? 


THE   MEMOIRS 


ow 


THILIP    DE    COMMINES, 

LORD  OF  ARGENTON. 


BOOK  THE  SIXTH. 

Chapter  I.  —  How  the  King  of  France  cajoled  the  English  after  the 
Duke  of  Burgundy's  Death,  for  fear  they  should  have  interrupted  him 
in  the  Conquest  of  the  Territories  belonging  to  the  said  Duke. — 1477 

They  who  shall  read  these  Memoirs  hereafter,  and   have  a 
better   knowledge  of  the  affairs    of  this    kingdom    and    its 
neighbouring  States  than  I  have,  may  perhaps  wonder  that, 
from  the  Duke  of  Burgundy's  death  to  this  time,  which  is 
little  less  than  a  year,  I  have  not  said  a  word  of  the  English, 
nor  of  their  suffering  the  king  to  seize  upon  those  towns 
which  were  near  them,  as  Arras,  Boulogne,  Hesdin,  Ardres 
and  several  other  castles,  and  to  lie  so  many  days  before  St. 
Omer.     The  reason  of  it  was,  because,  in  cunning  and  arti- 
fice, our  king  was  much  superior  to  King  Edward,  who  was 
indeed  a  brave  prince,  and  had  won  eight  or  nine  battles  in 
England,  in  which  he  had  been  always  present  himself,  and 
had  fought  constantly  on  foot,  which  redounded  much  to  his 
honour ;  but  the  two  kings  were  placed  in  different  circum- 
stances, and  the  English  king  depended  not  so  much  upon  his 
diligence  or  understanding,  for  upon  the  success  of  one  battle 
he  was  absolute  master  till  another  rebellion  disturbed  him. 
In  England,  when  any  disputes  arise,  and  occasion  a  war, 
the  controversy  is  generally  decided  in  eight  or  ten  days, 
when  one  party  or  other  gains  the  victory;  but  with  us,  on 
this  side  of  the  water,  affairs  are  managed  quite  otherwise. 

VOL.    U.  B 


2  TTIE    MEM01KS   OF   PHILIP   DE    COMMIXES.  [1177. 

Our  king  is  obliged,  whilst  he  is  carrying  on  any  war.  to 
keep  a  watchful  eye  upon  his  neighbours,  as  well  as  over  the 
rest  of  his  kingdom  ;  and  particularly  to  satisfy  the  King  of 
England  above  all,  who  must  be  quieted  at  any  cost,  and 
cajoled  with  ambassadors,  promises,  and  presents,  lest  he 
should  attempt  anything  that  might  interrupt  our  king's 
designs.  For  our  master  was  well  aware  that  the  nobility, 
commons,  and  clergy  of  England,  are  always  ready  tj  enter 
upon  a  war  with  Fiance,  being  incited  thereunto,  not  only 
upon  the  account  of  their  old  title  to  its  crown,  but  by  the 
desire  of  gain,  lor  it  pleased  God  to  permit  their  prede- 
cessors to  win  several  memorable  battles  in  this  kingdom,  and 
to  continue  in  the  possession  of  Normandy  and  Guienne  for 
the  space  of  three  hundred  and  fifty  years*,  before  Charles 
VII.  gave  them  the  first  blowf;  during  which  time  they 
carried  over  enormcus  booty  into  England,  not  only  in  plun- 
der, which  they  had  taken  in  the  several  towns,  but  in  the 
richness  and  quality  of  their  prisoners,  who  were  many  of 
them  great  princes  and  lords,  who  paid  them  vast  ransom3 
for  their  liberty;  so  that  every  Englishman  afterwards  hoped 
to  do  the  same  thing,  and  return  home  laden  with  spoils. 
liut  this  fortune  was  not  to  be  looked  for  in  our  king's  davs, 
lor  he  would  never  have  ventured  the  whole  kingdom  upon 
the  doubtful  issue  of  a  battle,  nor  have  done  anything  so 
rashly  as  to  dismount  himself,  with  all  his  nobility,  to  fight 
on  foot,  as  the  English  did  at  the  battle  of  Agincourt| ;  and 
it'  he  had  been  reduced  to  that  extremity,  lie  would  cer- 
tainly  have  managed   his    affairs  with  more  prudence  and 

*  The  English  became  masters  of  the  duchy  of  Guienne  about  the 
year  1 1 59,  in  consequence  of  the  marriage  of  King  Henry  II.  with 
Eleanor  of  Guienne.  Charles  VII.  regained  possession  of  the  duchy  in 
1451  ;  but  Bordeaux  having  placed  itself  once  more  in  the  hands  of  the 
English,  the  French  king  reduced  it  finally  on  the  1 7th  of  October,  1453. 

f  Commines  here  alludes  to  the  series  of  successes  obtained  over  the 
English  by  the  French  under  Joan  of  Arc. 

%  The  ba  tie  of  Agincourt  was  fought  on  the  25th  of  October,  1415. 
The  English  army,  under  Henry  V.,  did  not  consist  of  move  than  15.000 
men  ;  the  French  were,  at  the  least.  50,000,  and,  by  some  computations, 
i-rill  more  numerous.  Thev  lost  10,000  killed,  of  whom  9000  were 
knights  or  gentlemen.  Almost  as  many  were  made  prisoners.  The 
English,  according  to  Monstrelet,  lost  1600  men  ;  but  their  own  histo» 
ram  reduce  this  to  a  much  smaller  number. 


1477  ] 


THE    KING    OK    FRANCE    CAJOLES    THE    ENGLISH. 


caution,  as  may  be  presumed  from  the   manner   of  his  eon- 
duct  wlien  King  Edward  was  in  France. 

The  king  accordingly  found  himself  under  an  absolute 
necessity  to  caress  and  pacify  the  King  of  England,  and  the 
rest  of  his  neighbours,  whom  he  perceived  inclinable  to 
peace,  in  hopes  of  receiving  his  muney ;  and  therefore  he 
paid  a  pension  of  fifty  thousand  crowns  punctually  in 
London,  and  allowed  it  to  be  called  tribute  by  the  English. 
He  also  distributed  sixteen  thousand  more  anions  the  King 
of  England's  officers  that  were  about  his  person,  particularly 
to  the  Chancellor*,  the  Master  of  the  Rolls  f  (who  is  now 

*  Thomas  Rotherham,  Bishop  of  Lincoln,  was  chancellor  in  February, 
1475.  "He  owed  his  elevation,"  says  Lord  Campbell,  "to  his  own 
merits.  His  family  name  was  Scot,  unillustrated  in  England  at  that 
time,  and,  instead  of  it,  he  assumed  the  name  of  the  town  in  the  West 
Hiding  of  Yorkshire  in  which  he  was  born.  He  studied  at  King's 
College,  Cambridge,  and  was  one  of  the  earliest  fellows  on  this  royal 
foundation,  which  has  since  produced  so  many  distinguished  men.  He 
was  afterwards  Master  of  Pembroke  Hall,  and  Chancellor  of  this  Uni- 
versity. For  his  learning  and  piety  he  was  at  an  early  age  selected  to 
be  chaplain  to  Vere,  thirteenth  Earl  of  Oxford,  and  he  was  then  taken 
into  the  service  of  Edward  IV.  Being  a  steady  Yorkist,  he  was  made 
Bishop  of  Rochester  in  1467,  and  translated  to  Lincoln  in  1471.  In 
1480,  he  became  Archbishop  of  York,  and  he  received  a  cardinal's  hat 
from  the  Pope."  In  April,  1476,  he  was  removed  from  the  chancellorship, 
but  reinstated  in  the  office  in  September  of  the  same  year ;  and  he  "con- 
tinued chancellor  and  chief  adviser  of  the  Crown  during  the  remainder 
of  the  reign  of  Edward  IV.  He  was  considered  the  greatest  equity 
lawyer  of  the  age."  On  the  death  of  Edward  IV.,  he  delivered  up  the 
great  seal ;  but  though  u  he  did  not  take  any  active  part  in  the  struggles 
which  ensued,  he  was  so  strongly  suspected  by  Richard  III.,  that  he  was 
detained  in  prison  till  near  the  end  of  this  reign.  After  the  battle  of 
Bosworth  he  quietly  submitted  to  the  new  government,  but  he  was 
looked  upon  with  no  favour  by  Henry  VII.  He  died  of  the  plague  at 
Cawood,  in  the  year  1500,  aged  76,  and  was  buried  in  his  own  cathedral. 
He  was  founder  of  Lincoln  College,  Oxford,  and  showed  his  affection  to 
the  place  of  his  nativity  by  building  a  college  there,  with  three  schools 
for  grammar,  writing,  and  music." — Campbell's  Lives  of  the  Chu/e- 
eellors,  vol.  i.  pp.  393—403. 

t  "  John  Morton  was  born  at  Bere  in  Dorsetshire,  of  a  private  gentle- 
man's family,  in  the  year  1410.  He  received  his  earliest  education  at  the 
Abbey  of  Ceme,  from  whence  he  was  removed  to  Balliol  College,  Oxford, 
where  he  devoted  himself  to  the  study  of  the  civil  and  canon  law,  and 
took  with  great  distinction  the  degree  of  LL.  I).  He  then  went  to 
London,  and  practised  as  an  advocate  in  Doctors*  Commons,  where  be 
•uou  besame  the  decided  leader,  anil  rose  to  sueU  distinc'.iuii  by  I   » 

u.  8 


4  THE    MEMOIRS    OF    PIIlLir    DE    COMMIXES  [~1477 

chancellor),  the  High  Chamberlain,  the  Lord  Hastings  (a 
man  of  honour  and  prudence,  and  of  great  authority  with 
his  master,  and  deservedly,  upon  account  of  the  faithful 
service  he  had  done  him),  Sir  Thomas  Montgomery,  the 
Lord  Howard  (who  afterwards  espoused  King  Richard's 
interest,  and  was  created  Duke  of  Norfolk),  the  Lord  Cheney, 
master  of  the  horse,  Mr.  Chalenger,  and  a  certain  marquis*, 
who  was  the  Queen  of  England's  son,  by  her  first  husband. 

learning  and  eloquence,  that  he  gained  the  good  opinion  of  Cardinal 
Bourchier,  who  recommended  him  to  Henry  VI.  He  was  sworn  of  the 
1'rivv  Council  by  that  sovereign,  was  made  prebendary  of  Salisbury,  and 
had  the  rich  living  of  Blakesworth  bestowed  upon  him.  On  the  ac- 
cession of  Edward  IV.  he  made  submission  to  the  House  of  York,  and 
the  new  king  continued  him  a  privy  councillor,  appointed  him  Master  of 
the  Rolls,  and  conferred  on  him  great  ecclesiastical  preferment,  crowned 
with  the  Bishopric  of  Ely.  Richard  III.  imprisoned  him,  but  he  con- 
trived to  escape  to  the  Continent.  Immediately  after  the  battle  of 
Bosworth,  Henry  VII.  recalled  him,  raised  him  to  the  see  of  Canterbury 
on  the  death  of  Cardinal  Bourchier,  procured  a  cardinal's  hat  for  him 
from  Pope  Alexander  VI.,  and  made  him  Lord  Chancellor.  He  con- 
tinued in  this  office,  and  in  the  unabated  favour  and  confidence  of  his 
royal  master,  down  to  the  time  of  his  death,  a  period  of  thirteen  years, 
during  which  he  greatly  contributed  to  the  steadiness  of  the  government 
and  the  growing  prosperity  of  the  country.  Several  important  statutes 
were  passed  on  his  recommendation,  including  that  which  protects  from 
the  pains  of  treason  all  who  act  under  a  de  facto  king.  In  1494,  Morton 
was  made  Chancellor  of  the  University  of  Oxford,  and  on  the  13th  of 
September,  1500,  he  died,  after  a  lingering  illness.  Notwithstanding 
some  arbitrary  acts  of  government,  which  should  be  judged  of  by  the 
standard  of  his  own  age,  he  left  behind  him  a  high  character  for  probity 
as  well  as  talents.  His  munificence  was  great,  and  he  was  personally 
untainted  by  the  vice  of  avarice  which  disgraced  the  sovereign.  Sir 
Thomas  More,  who  was  brought  up  in  his  house,  says  of  him  :  '  He 
was  a  man  no  less  venerable  for  his  wisdom  and  virtue  than  for  the  high 
reputation  he  bore.  He  was  of  a  middle  stature,  in  advanced  years,  but 
not  broken  by  age;  his  aspect  begot  reverence  rather  than  fear.  He 
spoke  both  gracefully  and  mightily ;  he  was  eminently  skilled  in  the 
law  ;  he  had  a  comprehensive  understanding,  and  a  very  retentive  me- 
mory ;  and  the  excellent  talents  with  which  nature  had  furnished  him 
were  improved  by  study  and  discipline.  The  king  depended  much  on 
his  counsels,  and  the  government  seemed  to  be  chiefly  supported  by 
him  ;  for  from  his  youth  he  had  been  constantly  practised  in  affairs,  and 
having  passed  through  many  changes  of  fortune,  he  had,  at  a  heavy 
cost,  acquired  a  great  stock  of  wisdom,  which,  when  so  purchased,  is 
found  most  serviceable.'" — See  Lokd  Campbell's  Lives  of  the  Chaif 
eellors,  vol.  i.  pp.  417 — 425 

•  Thomas  Gray,  first  Marquis  of  Dorset. 


1 477. J  LIBERALITIES    OF    THE    KING    OF    FRANCE.  5 

Besides  these  great  presents,  he  was  also  very  generous  to 
ambassadors;  and  all  who  were  sent  to  him  from  the  English 
Court,  though  their  messages  were  never  so  harsh  and  dis- 
pleasing, lie  dispatched  with  such  fair  words  and  large 
presents,  that  they  went  away  very  well  satisfied  with  him  ; 
and  though  they  were  certainly  assured  (at  least  some  of 
them),  that  what  he  did  was  only  to  gain  time  to  effect  his 
designs,  yet  their  private  interest  prevailed  with  them  to 
wink  at  it,  highly  to  the  detriment  and  disadvantage  of  their 
public  affairs. 

To  all  the  persons  of  quality  above-mentioned,  the  king 
gave  considerable  presents,  besides  their  pensions.  To  the 
Lord  Howard,  besides  his  pension,  he  gave,  to  my  certain 
knowledge,  in  less  than  two  years'  time,  in  money  and  plate, 
above  twenty-four  thousand  crowns;  and  to  the  Lord  Hastings, 
who  was  King  Edward's  chamberlain,  he  gave  at  one  time 
one  thousand  silver  marks  in  plate;  and  all  the  receipts  of 
every  Englishman  of  quality,  except  the  Lord  Hastings,  are 
still  to  be  seen  in  the  chamber  of  accounts  at  Paris.  This 
Lord  Hastings  was  at  that  time  High  Chamberlain  of  Eng- 
land (an  oMice  of  great  reputation,  and  executed  singly  by 
one  man).  It  was  with  great  difficulty  and  solicitation,  that, 
he  was  made  one  of  the  king's  pensioners,  and  I  was  the 
cause  of  it:  for  at  the  time  when  I  was  in  the  Duke  of 
Burgundy's  service,  I  had  brought  him  over  to  his  interest, 
and  he  allowed  him  a  pension  of  a  thousand  crowns  a  year.* 
Upon  my  telling  our  king  what  I  had  done,  he  employed  me 
to  try  what  I  could  do  to  bring  him  over  to  his  interest ;  for 
he  had  been  his  particular  enemy  in  the  Duke  of  Burgundy's 
time,  after  which  he  became  a  favourer  of  the  young  Princess 
of  Burgundy,  and  was  once  like  to  have  prevailed  with 
the  King  of  England  to  cross  the  seas  again  to  assist  that 
princess.  I  began  our  amity  by  letters  ;  the  king  granted 
him  a  pension  of  two  thousand  crowns  per  annum,  which 
was  double  what  had  been  paid  him  by  the  duke,  and  sent 
one  of  the  stewards  of  his  house,  called  Peter  Clairetf,  with 
it;  giving  him  express  orders  to  take  his  receipt,  that  here- 

*  On  the  4th  of  May,  1471,  the  Duke  of  Burgundy  granted  a  pension 
of  twelve  hundred  florins  to  Lord  Hastings. — Lenglet,  ii.  198. 

t  Pierre  Cleret,  esquire,  councillor,  and  steward   to    Louis  XL  Cot 
many  years. 

B  3 


6  THE    MEMOIRS   OF    PIIILIP   DE   COMJIINE?.         J?  1*7. 

after  it  might  appear  upon  record,  that  the  lord  chamherlain, 
chancellor,  admiral,  master  of  the  horse,  and  several  other 
great  lords  of  England,  had  been  at  the  same  time  pen- 
sioners to  the  King  of  France.  This  Peter  Clairet  was  a 
very  cunning  man,  and  was  privately  admitted  to  the  lord 
chamberlain,  at  his  house  in  London  ;  and  having  delivered 
his  compliments  from  the  king,  he  presented  his  two  thou- 
sand crowns  in  gold  (for  to  foreign  lords  of  great  quality 
the  king  never  gave  any  other  coin).  The  chamberlain 
having  received  the  gold,  Peter  Clairet  desired  his  lordship 
would  be  pleased  to  give  him  a  receipt  for  it ;  the  lord 
chamberlain  scrupling  to  do  it,  he  repeated  his  request,  and 
entreated  him  that  he  would  give  him  only  three  lines  under 
his  hand,  directed  to  the  king  his  master,  lest  his  majesty 
should  think  he  had  embezzled  it  himself,  for  he  was  of  a 
very  suspicious  temper.  The  lord  chamberlain  seeing  he 
persisted  (though  his  demand  was  but  reasonable),  replied, 
"Master  Clairet,  what  you  desire  is  not  unreasonable,  but  this 
present  proceeds  from  your  master's  generosity,  not  from 
any  request  of  mine;  if  you  have  a  mind  I  should  receive  it, 
you  may  put  it  into  my  sleeve,  but  neither  letter  nor  acquit- 
tance will  you  have  from  me;  for  it  shall  never  be  said  of 
me,  that  the  High  Chamberlain  of  England  was  pensioner  to 
the  King  of  France,  nor  shall  my  receipt  be  ever  produced 
in  his  chamber  of  accounts."  C  lairet  urged  the  matter  no 
farther,  but  left  the  money,  and  returned  his  answer  to  the 
king,  who  was  highly  displeased  at  his  not  bringing  a  re- 
ceipt; hut  he  commended  and  valued  the  lord  chamberlain 
above  all  the  King  of  England's  ministers,  ever  after  paid 
him  his  pension  constantly,  and  never  asked  for  his  receipt. 
In  this  posture  were  aflaix-s  between  the  King  of  England 
and  our  master :  however,  the  King  of  England  was  ear- 
nestly solicited  and  urged  to  assist  the  young  princess,  and 
he  sent  several  embassies  to  our  master  to  remonstrate  with 
him,  and  to  press  him  either  for  a  peace,  or  a  cessation  of 
arms.  For  some  of  the  privy  council  of  England,  and  of 
the  Parliament  (which  is  of  the  same  nature  as  our  three 
Estates),  were  persons  of  wisdom  and  penetration,  who  came 
nut  of  the  country,  and  were  not  pensioners  of  France  like 
the  rest,  and  these  pressed  hard,  that  the  King  of  England 
would  interpose  vigorously  for  the  Princess  of  Burgundy  s 


1477.]  POLICY   OF   KING   LOU13.  t 

arging,  tliat  we  did  but  dissemble  with  them,  and  amuse  them 
with  hopes  of  a  marriage,  as  it  very  plainly  appeared  :  fof 
at  the  treaty  at  Piequigny  *  the  two  kin;rs  had  mutually 
sworn,  that  within  the  space  of  a  year,  the  Kimj  of  England's 
daughter  should  be  sent  for;  but  though  the  King  of  France 
had  permitted  her  to  be  styled  the  dauphiness,  jet  the  time, 
was  elapsed,  and  the  lady  had  not  been  sent  for.  But  all 
the  arguments  his  subjects  made  use  of  could  not  prevail 
with  King  Edward,  for  several  reasons.  King  P^dward  was 
a  voluptuous  prince,  wholly  addicted  to  his  pleasures  and  ease; 
and  having  been,  in  his  former  expeditions,  reduced  to  great 
straits  and  necessities,  he  had  no  mind  to  involve  himself 
in  a  new  war  on  this  side  of  the  water :  the  fifty  thousand 
crowns,  too,  which  were  punctually  paid  him  in  the  Tower, 
softened  his  heart,  and  hindered  him  from  concerning  him- 
self in  this  affair.  Besides,  his  ambassadors  were  always 
bribed,  and  entertained  so  nobly,  that  they  left  the  French 
court  well  satisfied,  though  the  king's  answers  were  always  un- 
certain, in  ordertogain  time  ;  for  they  were  always  told  that  in 
a  few  days  the  king  would  send  ambassadors  of  his  own,  who 
would  satisfy  their  master  in  every  point  which  had  been 
left  in  doubt. 

As  soon  as  the  King  of  England's  ambassadors  were  re- 
turned, about  three  weeks  or  a  month  later,  sometimes  more, 
sometimes  less  (which  in  such  cases  is  a  great  matter),  the 
king  our  master  would  send  his  envoys  ;  but  always  new  per- 
sons, and  such  as  had  not  been  employed  in  any  overture 
with  the  English  before,  to  the  end  that  if  anything  had 
been  promised  by  their  predecessors,  but  not  afterwards 
performed,  they  might  pretend  ignorance,  and  not  be  obliged 
to  give  an  answer.  Tlie  ambassadors,  therefore,  who  were 
sent  into  England,  used  their  utmost  endeavours  to  persuade 
King  Edward  of  the  good  inclinations  of  the  King  of  France 
so  that  he  might  remain  quiet,  and  not  give  the  least  assist- 
ance to  the  Princess  of  Burgundy:  for  both  the  King  and 
the  Queen  of  England  were  so  desirous  of  the  match  with 
their  daughter,  that  upon  that  account,  not  to  mention 
several  other  reasons,  the  king  was  willing  to  wink  at  these 
proceedings,  and  take  no  notice  of  the  remonstrances  that 
were  made  to  him  by  some  of  his  privy  council,  who  repre- 

•  See  book  \v.  chap  9.  of  these  Memoirs. 
a  4 


8  THE    MEMOIRS   OF    PHILIP   HE   COMMIXES.         [1477 

sented  to  him  how  prejudicial  it  would  be  to  the  interest  of 
the  whole  nation.  Besides,  he  was  afraid  the  marriage might 
be  broken  off,  as  it  began  already  to  be  laughed  at  in  Eng- 
land, especially  by  such  as  were  desirous  of  war. 

But  to  clear  up  this  matter  a  little  more,  the  king  our 
master  never  designed  to  effect  this  marriage,  by  reason  of 
the  disproportion  in  their  years ;  for  the  young  lady  *,  who 
is  now  Queen  of  England,  was  much  older  than  the  dauphin, 
who  is  now  King  of  France,  j"  So  that  a  month  or  two 
were  spent  in  sending  ambassadors  from  one  court  to  another ; 
and  these  artifices  were  made  use  of  purely  to  gain  time, 
and  hinder  the  English  from  declaring  war  against  our 
king :  for  certainly,  had  it  not  been  in  hopes  of  this  mar- 
riage, the  King  of  England  would  never  so  tamely  have 
suffered  our  king  to  have  taken  so  many  towns,  without  en- 
deavouring to  have  defended  them  ;  and  had  he  declared  at 
the  outset  for  the  young  Princess  of  Burgundy,  as  our 
king  was  so  fearful  of  bringing  anything  to  a  hazard,  he 
would  not  have  encroached  so  far  upon  the  dominions  of  the 
House  of  Burgundy,  nor  have  weakened  it  so  much.  My 
chief  design  in  narrating  these  transactions  is,  to  show 
the  method  and  conduct  of  all  human  affairs,  by  the  read- 
ing of  which  such  persons  as  are  employed  in  the  negotia- 
tion of  great  matters,  may  be  instructed  how  to  manage  their 
business;  for  though  their  judgment  may  be  good,  yet  a 
little  advice  sometimes  does  no  harm.  This  I  have  been 
assured  of,  that  if  the  Princess  of  Burgundy  could  have 
been  persuaded  to  marry  Earl  Rivers,  the  Queen  of  Eng- 
land's brother,  they  would  have  succoured  her  with  a  con- 
siderable number  of  troops  ;  but  that  marriage  would  have 
been  very  unequal,  for  he  was  only  an  earl,  and  she  the 
greatest  heiress  of  her  time. 

Many  overtures  and  bargains  were  made  between  the 
Kings  of  England  and  France;  among  the  rest  the  King  of 
France  offered,  that  if  b-  -*'ould  join  with  him,  and  come 
over  in  person,  and  invak~  the  Low  Countries,  which  be- 
longed to  the  Princess  of  Burgundy,  his  majesty  would  con- 

*  The  Princess  Elizabeth,  who  afterwards  was  married  to  Henry  VII., 
by  which  match  the  Houses  of  York  and  Lancaster  were  united,  was 
botn  in  1466. 

f  Charles  VIIL  was  born  on  the  30th  of  June,  1470. 


1 477-]  PRINCESS  of  burgundy's  affairs.  9 

gent  that  the  King  of  England  should  have  all  Flanders  for 
his  share,  and  hold  it  without  homage,  and  the  province  of 
Brabant  besides,  in  which  the  King  of  France  would  en- 
gage to  reduce  four  of  the  chief  towns  at  his  own  expense, 
and  afterwards  deliver  them  up  to  the  King  of  England. 
Besides,  he  proffered  (to  lessen  his  charge  in  the  war),  to 
pay  ten  thousand  of  the  King  of  England's  troops  for  four 
months;  and  to  lend  him  a  large  train  of  artillery,  horses, 
and  carriages,  for  their  conveyance,  upon  condition  the 
King  of  England  would  invade  Flanders,  whilst  he  made 
war  upon  Burgundy  in  another  place.  The  King  of  Eng- 
land's answer  was,  that  the  towns  in  Flanders  were  large  and 
strong,  and  not  easy  to  be  kept  when  they  were  taken,  and  that 
Brabant  was  the  same  ;  besides  which,  the  English  had  no 
great  inclination  to  undertake  such  a  war,  upon  account  of 
the  commerce  that  was  betwixt  them  and  the  Low  Coun- 
tries ;  but  since  the  king  was  so  generously  inclined,  as  to 
allow  him  a  share  in  his  conquests,  he  desired  he  would  give 
him  some  of  the  places  he  had  conquered  already  in  Picardy, 
such  as  Boulogne,  and  others;  upon  surrendering  up  of 
which,  he  would  be  ready  to  declare  on  his  side,  and  would 
send  an  army  to  his  assistance  if  he  would  engage  to 
pay  it. 


Ch.  II.  —  Of  the  Conclusion  of  the  Marriage  between  the  Princess  of 
Burgundy,  and  Maximilian  Duke  of  Austria,  and  since  Emperor. — 
1477. 

After  this  manner  (as  I  have  said  before),  transactions 
were  managed  between  the  two  kings  for  no  other  purpose 
but  to  gain  time,  by  which  means  the  Princess  of  Bur- 
gundy's affairs  began  visibly  to  decay;  for  of  the  few 
soldiers  that  remained  after  her  father's  death,  many  revolted 
from  her  to  the  king,  especially  after  the  Lord  des  Cordes 
had  quitted  her  service,  and  carried  several  others  along 
with  him.  Some  were  forced  to  leave  her  because  their 
estates  or  abodes  lay  very  near  or  within  the  towns 
which  had  declared  for  the  king;  others  left  her  in  hopes 
of  preferment  ;    for    in    that    respect    no    prince    was    so 


10  THE    MlCMOlKS    OF    mtLlP    DE    COMMIXES.         fi477. 

noble  and  generous  to  his  servants  as  our  master.  Besides, 
commotions  and  factions  discovered  themselves  daily  in  the 
great  towns,  and  particularly  in  Ghent,  wliich  wanted  to 
have  everything  its  own  way,  as  you  have  already  heard. 
Several  husbands  were  proposed  to  the  Princess  of  Bur- 
gundy, and  every  one  was  of  opinion  there  was  a  necessity  of 
her  marrying,  to  defend  those  territories  that  she  had  left  to 
her,  or  (by  marrying  the  dauphin),  to  recover  what  she  had 
lost.  Several  were  entirely  for  this  match,  and  she  was  as 
earnest  for  it  as  anybody,  before  the  letters  she  had  sent  by 
the  Lord  of  Humbercourt  and  the  chancellor  to  the  king 
were  betrayed  to  the  ambassadors  from  Ghent.  Some  op- 
posed the  match,  and  urged  the  disproportion  of  their  age, 
the  dauphin  being  but  nine  years  old,  and  besides  engaged 
to  the  King  of  England's  daughter  ;  and  these  suggested  the 
son  of  the  Duke  of  Cleves.  Others  recommended  Maxi- 
milian, the  emperor's  son,  who  is  at  present  King  of  the 
Romans. 

The  princess  herself  had  conceived  an  extreme  hatred 
against  the  king,  ever  since  he  had  basely  given  up  her 
letters;  for  she  looked  upon  him  as  the  occasion  of  the 
death  of  her  two  principal  ministers  of  state,  and  of  the 
dishonour  and  shame  that  was  put  upon  her,  when  the 
letters  were  delivered  to  her  publicly  in  her  council,  as  you 
have  heard  before.  Besides,  it  was  that  which  gave  the 
Gantois  confidence  to  banish  so  many  of  her  servants,  and 
to  remove  her  mother-in-law  and  the  Lord  of  Ravestain 
from  about  her,  and  put  her  maids  of  honour  into  such  a 
consternation,  that  not  one  of  them  durst  open  a  letter  with- 
out first  showing  it  to  the  Gantois,  nor  speak  to  their 
mistress  in  a  low  tone.  This  made  the  princess  carry  her- 
self very  distantly  to  the  Bishop  of  Liege,  who  was  of  the 
House  of  Bourbon,  and  a  great  promoter  of  this  match  with 
the  Dauphin,  which  certainly  would  have  been  very  honour- 
able and  advantageous  for  the  princess,  had  it  not  been  for 
the  extreme  youth  of  the  dauphin ;  but  the  bishop  was 
unable  to  effect  his  object,  so  he  removed  to  Liege,  and  that 
affair  was  laid  wholly  aside.  Without  dispute,  it  would 
have  been  a  very  difficult  matter  to  have  managed  that  ne- 
gotiation to  the  satisfaction  of  both  parties;  and  I  am  of 
opinion  that  whoever  had  undertaken  it,  would  have  gained 


1477.]  MARRIAGE    OF    PRINCESS    OF    BURGDNDY.  11 

but  little  credit  by  it  in  the  end.  However  (as  I  have  been 
informed),  a  council  was  held  about  it,  at  which  Madame 
de  Hallewin*,  first  lady  of  the  bed-chamber  to  the  princess, 
was  present ;  and  being  asked  her  opinion  about  the  dauphin, 
she  replied,  "  That  there  was  more  need  of  a  man  than  a 
boy  ;  that  her  mistress  was  capable  of  bearing  a  child,  which 
was  what  her  dominions  wanted  more  than  anything  else;"" 
and  this  opinion  prevailed.  Some  condemned  the  lady  for 
answering  so  plainly,  others  commended  her,  alleging  that 
what  she  spoke  was  purely  in  relation  to  marriage,  and  the 
necessity  of  her  lady's  dominions,  so  that  now  the  only  talk 
was,  who  should  be  the  person.  I  am  verily  persuaded,  that 
if  the  king  had  been  inclined  to  have  had  her  marry  the 
Count  of  Angoulesmef,  who  is  now  living,  she  would  have 
consented  to  it,  so  desirous  was  she  to  continue  her  alliance 
with  France.  God,  however,  thought  fit  to  appoint  her 
another  husband,  for  reasons  unknown  perhaps  to  us,  unless 
it  were,  that  it  might  occasion  greater  wars  and  confusions 
on  both  sides  than  could  possibly  have  happened,  had  she 
married  the  Count  of  Angoulesme,  for  by  this  match  the 
provinces  of  Flanders  and  Brabant  sustained  great  miseries 
and  afflictions.  The  Duke  of  Cleves  was  at  this  time  in 
Ghent  with  the  princess,  making  friends,  and  trying  all  arts 
to  effect  a  marriage  between  the  princess  and  his  son,  but 
she  had  no  inclination  to  it,  for  the  character  of  the  young 
gentleman  pleased  neither  her  nor  any  person  about  her 
court.  At  last  a  marriage  was  again  proposed  between  her 
and  the  emperor's  son,  the  present  King  of  the  Romans,  of 
which  there  had  formerly  been  some  overtures  between  the 
Emperor  and  Duke  Charles,  and  a  match  concluded  between 
them.  The  emperor  had  in  his  custody  a  letter  written  by 
the  young  lady,  at  her  father's  command,  under  her  own 
hand,  and  a  diamond  ring  of  considerable  value.  The 
purport  of  the  letter  was  to  acquaint  his  imperial  majesty, 
that,  in  obedience  to  her  father's  commands,  she  promised  to 
accomplish  the  marriage  with  his  son  the  Duke  uf  Austria, 

*  Jeanne  de  la  Clite,  Lady  of  Commines,  and  wife  of  the  Lord  of 
Halcwyn.     She  was  a  cousin  of  the  author  of  these  Memoirs. 

t  Charts  of  Orleans,  Count  of  Angouleme,  aud  father  of  Kiuq 
Francis  L 


12  THI-:    MEMOiRS    OF    PHILIP    DE    COMMINES.  [1477 

in  the  same  form  and  manner  as  her  father  the  Duke  of 
Burgundy  should  think  fit  to  prescribe. 

The  emperor  sent  certain  ambassadors*  to  the  princess, 
who  was  at  Ghent  ;  but,  upon  their  arrival  at  Brussels, 
letters  were  sent  to  them  to  remain  there,  and  that  com- 
missioners should  be  sent  thither  to  receive  and  answer  their 
demands.  This  was  only  a  contrivance  of  the  Duke  of 
Cleves,  who  was  extremely  displeased  at  their  coming,  and 
endeavoured  to  send  them  back  again  dissatisfied ;  but  the 
ambassadors  continued  their  journey,  for  they  had  intel- 
ligence in  the  princess's  court,  or,  at  least,  with  the  Duchess 
Dowager  of  Burgundy,  who  had  been  removed  from  the 
princess,  as  you  have  heard  before,  upon  oocasion  of  the 
letter.  This  lady,  as  I  have  been  since  informed,  advised 
them  to  proceed  with  their  journey  notwithstanding  these 
letters,  gave  them  instructions  how  they  were  to  behave 
themselves  upon  their  arrival  at  Ghent,  and  assured  them 
that  the  young  princess  and  the  greatest  part  of  her  court 
were  well  disposed  towards  them.  Upon  this  information 
the  ambassadors  advanced,  and  taking  no  notice  of  the 
orders  which  they  had  received,  went  directly  to  Ghent,  at 
which  the  Duke  of  Cleves  was  highly  offended  ;  but  he  knew 
nothing  as  yet  of  the  inclination  of  the  ladies.  It  was  re- 
solved by  the  council  that  the  princess  should  give  them 
audience,  and,  after  they  had  delivered  their  credentials, 
should  let  them  know  that  they  were  very  welcome,  that 
she  would  acquaint  her  council  with  their  desires,  and  order 
them  to  return  her  answer ;  but  that  she  could  not  give  any 
farther  answer  about  it. 

The  ambassadors  being  admitted  to  a  public  audience, 
presented  their  credentials,  and  then  delivered  their  embassy, 
which  was  only  to  remind  her  Highness  that  the  marriage 
had  been  concluded  formally  between  the  emperor  and  her 
father,  by  her  own  consent  and  approbation,  as  appeared  by 
the  letter  under  her  own  hand,  which  they  produced,  and 
the  diamond  ring  which  they  said  had  been  sent  as  a  pledge 

*  According  to  Molinet  (ii.  94.)  these  ambassadors  were  "  My  Lord 
Bishop  of  Mayence,  Duke  Louis  of  Bavaria,  and  a  very  elegant  protho- 
not&ry  named  George  Hesler."  To  this  list  Lenglet  adds  a  certaiu 
doctor,  William  Mortingle  ;  and  Oliver  de  la  Maiche  (ii.  422.)  substi* 
tutes  I  he  Bishop  of  Metz  for  the  Bishop  of  Mayence. 


1477.  J        DUKE  MAXIMILIAN  AT  COLOGNE.  13 

of  the  said  marriage.  Upon  which  the  ambassadors  insisted, 
that  the  young  princess  should  be  pleased  to  consummate 
the  marriage  according  to  the  engagement  and  promise  both 
of  her  father  and  herself;  and  then  they  conjured  her  to 
declare  befure  the  whole  assembly  whether  she  had  written 
the  letter  or  not,  and  whether  she  designed  to  make  good 
her  promise.  The  young  princess,  without  consulting  any, 
replied  that  she  had  written  the  letter  and  sent  the  ring  in 
obedience  to  her  father's  commands,  and  that  she  freely 
owned  the  contents  of  it.  The  ambassadors  thereupon  ex- 
pressed their  humble  acknowledgments,  and  returned  very 
joyful  to  their  lodgings. 

The  Duke  of  Cleves  was  extremely  dissatisfied  with  her 
answer,  as  being  contrary  to  what  had  been  agreed  on  in 
council,  and  he  upbraided  the  young  princess  for  having 
acted  very  indiscreetly  in  this  affair.  To  which  she  replied, 
"  That  it  was  not  in  her  power  to  do  any  otherwise,  since 
it  was  a  thing  agreed  on  long  before,  and  she  could  not 
gainsay  it."  On  hearing  her  answer,  and  finding  that  many 
about  the  princess  were  of  the  same  opinion,  he  resolved  to 
give  over  his  own  solicitations,  and  retire  in  a  few  days 
into  his  own  country.  And  thus  was  the  marriage  con- 
cluded ;  and  Duke  Maximilian  came  to  Cologne,  where  seve- 
ral of  the  princess's  servants  went  to  meet  him,  and  carry 
him  money,  with  which,  as  I  have  been  told,  he  was  but 
very  slenderly  furnished ;  for  his  father  wras  the  stingiest 
and   most  covetous  prince,  or  person,    of  his  time.*     The 

*  The  character  of  this  emperor  is  thus  sketched  by  Mr.  Hallam: 
"  Frederic  III.  reigned  fifty-three  years — a  longer  period  than  any  of 
his  predecessors  ;  and  hi3  personal  character  was  more  insignificant. 
With  better  fortune  than  could  be  expected,  considering  both  these  cir- 
cumstances, he  escaped  any  overt  attempt  to  depose  him,  though  such  a 
project  was  sometimes  in  agitation.  He  reigned  during  an  interesting 
age,  full  of  remarkable  events,  and  big  with  others  of  more  leading  im- 
portance. The  destruction  of  the  Greek  empire,  and  appearance  of  the 
victorious  crescent  upon  the  Danube,  gave  an  unhappy  distinction  to 
the  earlier  years  of  his  reign,  and  displayed  his  mean  and  pusillanimous 
character  in  circumstances  which  demanded  a  hero.  At  a  later  season 
he  was  drawn  into  contentions  with  France  and  Burgundy,  which  ulti- 
mately produced  a  new  and  more  general  combination  of  European 
politics.  Frederic,  always  poor,  and  scarce!"  able  to  protect  himself  in 
Austria  from  the  seditions  of  his  subjects  or  the  inroads  of  the  Kins  <H 


14  THE    MEMOIRS    OF    PHILIP    DE    COMMINES.  [1177. 

Duke  of  Austria  was  conducted  to  Ghent,  with  about  seven 
or  eight  hundred  horse  in  his  retinue,  and  this  marriage  was 
.consummated*,  which  at  first  sight  brought  no  great  advan- 
tage to  the  subjects  of  the  young  princess  ;  for,  instead  of  his 
supporting  her,  she  was  forced  to  supply  him  with  money. 
His  armies  were  neither  strong  enough,  nor  in  a  condition  1o 
face  the  king's;  besides  which,  the  humour  of  the  house  of 
Austria  was  not  pleasing  to  the  subjects  of  the  house  of 
Burgundy,  who  had  been  bred  up  under  wealthy  princes, 
that  had  lucrative  offices  and  employments  to  dispose  of ; 
whose  palaces  were  sumptuous,  whose  tables  were  nobly 
served,  whose  dress  was  magnificent,  and  wdiose  liveries 
were  pompous  and  splendid.  But  the  Germans  are  of  quite 
a  contrary  temper ;  boorish  in  their  manners,  and  rude  in 
their  way  of  living. 

It  seems  to  me,  that  upon  good  and  solid  advice,  and  not 
without  the  particular  grace  of  God,  that  law  was  made  in 
France,  whereby  women  are  excluded  from  the  succession, 
and  no  daughter  suffered  to  inherit  the  crown,  to  prevent  its 
falling  into  the  hands  of  a  foreign  nation,  or  prince ;  which 
the  French  would  hardly  endure,  nor,  indeed,  would  any 
other  nation  ;  for  there  is  no  sovereignty  whatever  but  at 
length  revolves  upon  the  natives.  This  may  be  seen  in 
France,  where  the  English  had  great  possessions  for  forty 
years  together,  and  at  this  present  time  have  nothing  left 
of  all  their  conquests  but  Calais  and  two  little  castles  f,  which 
cost  them  a  great  deal  to  keep ;  the  rest  they  lost  much 
more  easily  than  they  conquered  it ;  for  they  lost  more  in 

Hungary,  was  yet  another  founder  of  his  family,  and  left  their  fortunes 
incomparably  more  prosperous  than  at  his  accession.  The  marriage  of 
his  son  Maximilian  with  the  heiress  of  Burgundy  began  that  aggrandise- 
ment of  the  house  of  Austria  which  Frederic  seems  to  have  anticipated. 
The  Austrian  provinces  were  re-united,  either  under  Frederic,  or  in  the 
first  years  of  Maximilian  :  so  that  at  the  close  of  that  period,  which  we 
denominate  the  middle  ages,  the  German  empire,  sustained  by  the  patri- 
monial dominions  of  its  chief,  became  again  considerable  in  the  scale  of 
nations,  and  capable  of  preserving  a  balance  between  the  ambitious 
monarchies  of  France  and  Spain." — Hallam's  Middle  Ages,  vol.  i.  pp. 
449,  450. 

*  On  the  18th  of  August,  1477. — See  Gachard's  edition  of  Ba&ant£'& 
Dukes  of  Burgundy,  vol.  ii.  p.  577. 

f  Guines  ami  Ilames. 


1477.]  CHARACTER   OF    DUKE    MAXIMILIAN.  1" 

one  day  than  they  had  gained  in  a  year.  The  same  tiling 
is  observable  in  the  kingdoms  of  Naples  and  Sicily,  and 
other  provinces,  of  which  the  French  had  possession  for 
many  years  together ;  in  all  which  there  is  now  no  monu- 
ment of  their  power  remaining  but  the  sepulchres  of  their 
fathers.  And,  if  it  were  possible  for  a  nation  to  admit  a 
foreign  prince  whose  wisdom  was  great,  and  his  retinue 
small  and  well-regulated,  yet  they  could  hardly  be  pre- 
vailed upon  to  receive  him  with  a  great  train,  or  suffer  that 
he  should  send  for  great  numbers  of  his  other  subjects, 
upon  pretence  of  making  war  upon  his  neighbours  ;  because 
animosities  will  certainly  arise  among  them,  by  reason  of 
their  diversity  of  manners  and  disposition,  and  the  violences 
the  new-comers  will  commit;  for  they  cannot  feel  so  much 
love  and  affection  for  the  country  as  those  who  were  born 
in  it ;  especially  if  they  aspire  and  aim  at  offices  or  em- 
ployments which  belong  more  properly  to  the  natives.  So 
that  it  is  very  requisite  for  a  wise  prince,  upon  his  coming 
into  a  foreign  country,  to  adjust  all  differences  in  his  towns; 
and,  if  lie  be  not  master  of  this  virtue  (which  proceeds  more 
immediately  from  God  than  anything  else),  the  rest,  though 
called  virtues,  will  be  of  no  advantage  to  him:  and,  if  he 
reigns  loner,  he  and  all  his  subjects  will  find  themselves  in- 
volved  in  troubles,  especially  when  he  comes  to  be  aged, 
and  his  ministers  and  servants  have  no  hopes  of  amendment 
in  his  condition. 

This  aforesaid  marriage  was  performed  with  great  pomp 
and  solemnity,  but  affairs  were  not  placed  by  it  in  a  much 
better  posture ;  for  they  were  both  very  young.  Duke 
Maximilian  was  a  person  of  no  great  knowledge,  both  in 
consequence  of  his  youth,  and  of  his  being  in  a  foreign 
country.  Besides,  his  education  had  been  but  indifferent, 
and  not  serviceable  for  the  management  of  great  affairs  ; 
nor,  if  it  had  been  better,  had  he  a  sufficient  body  of  troops 
ready  to  have  attempted  anything  considerable :  so  that 
Ids  poor  countries  were  involved  in  great  troubles,  which 
have  continued  to  this  day,  and  are  like  to  continue.  For 
which  reasons,  as  I  said  before,  it  is  a  great  misfortune 
to  any  country  to  have  to  seek  a  foreign  sovereign  ;  and 
God  has  been  very  merciful  to  France  in  establishing 
that  law  against  the  inheritance  of  the  crowu  by  a  dau^u- 


16  THE  MEMOIRS   OF    PHILIP    Dt    COMMINES  [1477. 

ter.*  Aprivate  or  insignificant  family  may  be  much  aggran- 
dised by  it  ;  but  a  great  kingdom,  like  ours,  will  always  be 
greatly  inconvenienced,  and  incommoded.  A  few  days  after 
the  consummation  of  this  marriage  (if  not  at  the  very  time 
of  its  negotiation),  the  whole  country  of  Artois  was  lost.  (It 
will  be  sufficient  for  me  to  narrate  the  substance  of  events, 
and  if  I  fail  in  terms,  or  the  just  computation  of  times,  I 
hope  the  reader  will  excuse  me.)  The  king's  affairs  went  on 
prosperously,  without  any  manner  of  opposition,  during  the 
winter ;  only  now  and  then  some  overture  or  proposition 
was  made,  which  came  to  nothing ;  for  both  sides  being 
high  in  their  demands,  the  war  could  not  but  continue. 
Duke  Maximilian  and  the  Princess  of  Burgundy  had  a  son 
the  first  year,  namely,  the  Archduke  Philipt,  who  is  now 

*  The  rule  that  a  woman  was  incapable  of  succeeding  to  the  crown  of 
France  —  quod  in  regno  Francice  mulier  non  succedit — was  first  pro- 
claimed when  Philip  the  Long  succeeded  to  the  throne  in  1317,  to  the 
exclusion  of  his  niece.  "  French  writers,"  says  Mr.  Hallam,  "  almost 
unanimously  concur  in  asserting  that  this  exclusion  was  built  upon  a 
fundamental  maxim  of  their  government.  No  written  law,  nor  even, 
as  far  as  I  know,  the  direct  testimony  of  any  ancient  writer,  has  been 
brought  forward  to  confirm  this  position.  The  text  of  the  Salic  law, 
which  has,  indeed,  given  a  name  to  this  exclusion  of  females,  can  only  by 
a  doubtful  and  refined  analogy  be  considered  as  bearing  any  relation  to 
the  succession  of  the  crown.  It  is  certain,  nevertheless,  that  from  the 
time  of  Clovis,  no  woman  had  ever  reigned  in  France  ;  but,  on  the  other 
hand,  the  crown  resembled  a  great  fief,  and  the  great  fiefs  were  univer- 
sally capable  of  descending  to  women.  And  it  was  scarcely  beyond  the 
recollection  of  persons  living,  that  Blanche  had  been  legitimate  regent  of 
France  during  the  minority  of  St.  Louis.  For  these  reasons  it  may  be 
fairly  inferred  that  the  Salic  law,  as  it  was  called,  was  not  so  fixed  a 
principle  at  that  time  as  has  been  contended.  But  however  this  may  be, 
It  received  at  the  accession  of  Philip  the  Long  a  sanction  which  subse- 
quent events  more  thoroughly  confirmed.  Philip  himself,  leaving  only 
three  daughters,  his  brother  Chai-les  mounted  the  throne ;  and  upon  his 
death,  the  rule  was  so  unquestionably  established,  that  his  only  daughter 
was  excluded  by  the  Count  of  Valois,  grandson  of  Philip  the  Bold."  — 
Hallam's  Middle  Ages,  vol.  i.  pp.  43,  44. 

f  rhilip,  Archduke  of  Austria,  was  born  on  the  22nd  of  July,  1478. 
He  married  Joanna,  the  second  daughter  of  Ferdinand  and  Isabella  of 
Spain  ;  their  nuptials  were  celebrated  with  great  pomp  and  solemnity  in 
the  city  of  Lisle,  on  the  21st  of  October,  1496  ;  and  the  first  fruit  of  their 
-narriage  was  the  celebrated  Charles  the  Fifth.  Philip  succeeded  to  tlw 
throne  of  Castile  in  1506,  and  after  a  reign  of  two  months,  he  died,  jii 
the  25th  of  September,  15  JO. 


1477.]         DEATH   OF   THE    FRINCESS    OF    BURGUNDY.  17 

reigning:  the  next  year  they  had  a  daughter,  called  Mar- 
garet*, who  at  present  is  our  queen;  the  third  year  they  had 
a  son,  called  Francis,  after  the  name  of  Francisf  Duke  of 
Bretagne,  who  was  his  godfather.  The  fourth  year  the 
princess  died  of  a  fall  from  her  horse,  or  a  fever  | ;  but  it  is 
certain  she  had  a  fall,  and  some  say  she  was  pregnant.  Her 
death  was  a  great  loss  to  her  subjects  ;  for  she  was  a  person 
«)f  great  honour,  affability,  and  generosity  to  all  people,  and 
she  was  more  beloved  and  respected  by  her   subjects  than 

jher  husband,  as  being  natural  sovereign  of  their  country. 

1  She  was  tenderly  attached  to  her  husband,  and  of  singular 
reputation  for  modesty  and  virtue.  Her  death  happened 
in  the  year  1482.  § 

In  Hainault  the  king  was  possessed  of  two  towns,  Ques- 
noy  le  Comte  and  Bouchain,  both  which  he  restored  ;  at 
which  several  persons  were  highly  astonished,  knowing  his 
aversion  to  any  peace,  and  how  desirous  he  was  to  take  all, 

*  The  Princess  Margaret  had  been  affianced  in  her  cradle  to  Chares 
VIII.  of  France,  but  their  marriage  never  took  place  ;  and  when  her 
intended  husband  espoused  Anne  of  Brittany,  she  was  returned  to  her 
native  land  under  circumstances  of  indignity  never  to  be  forgotten  or 
forgiven  by  the  House  of  Austria.  In  1495  she  was  betrothed  to  Prince 
John,  the  heir  of  the  Spanish  monarchy,  and  on  her  passage  to  Spain,  in 
1497,  to  join  her  husband,  she  was  nearly  shipwrecked.  She  retained, 
however,  sufficient  composure  amid  the  perils  of  her  situation  to  indite 
her  own  epitaph,  in  the  form  of  a  pleasant  distich  : 

"  Ci  gist  Margot,  la  gentil'  damoiselle, 
Qu'a  deux  maris,  et  encore  est  pucelle!" 

Fortunately,  her  epitaph  was  not  needed,  as  she  reached  Spain  in  safety, 
and  was  married  to  the  Prince  of  the  Asturias  on  the  3rd  of  April,  1497. 
On  the  4th  of  October,  in  the  same  year,  her  husband  died  ;  and  shortly 
afterwards  Margaret  returned  to  her  native  land.  She  subsequently 
married  the  Duke  of  Savoy,  who  died  without  issue  in  less  than  three 
years ;  and  Margaret  passed  the  remainder  of  her  life  in  widowhood 
being  appointed  by  her  father,  the  emperor,  to  the  government  of  the- 
Netherlands,  which  she  administered  with  great  ability.  She  died  in 
1530. 

t  This  boy,  born  at  Brussels,  on  the  10th  of  September,  1481,  died  on 
the  26th  of  December  in  the  same  year. 

|  She  died  at  Bruges,  at  about  two  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  on  the 
S7th  of  March,  1481. — Molinet,  ii.  302 

§  Commines  is  here  in  error  as  to  the  date  ;  the  year  1482  (old  style) 
did  not  begin  until  the  7th  of  April,  and  the  princess  died  on  the  27th 
of  March. 

VOL.  E.  C 


18  THE    MEMOIRS   OF    PHILIP   DE    COMMIXES.         [1478. 

and  leave  the  house  of  Burgundy  nothing  ;  and  my  opinion 
is,  if  he  could  have  done  it  undisturbedly,  and  destroyed  or 
divided  those  territories  at  his  ease,  he  would  not  have  failed 
to  have  done  so.  But,  as  he  told  me  afterwards  himself,  he 
surrendered  those  towns  in  Hainault  for  two  reasons  ;  the 
first  was,  because  he  thought  a  prince  had  more  strength 
and  importance  in  his  own  country,  where  he  was  anointed 
and  crowned,  than  he  could  have  out  of  his  dominions ;  and 
these  towns  were  not  in  his  territory.  The  other  was,  be- 
cause tliere  had  been  solemn  oaths  and  great  confederacies 
between  the  emperors  and  the  kings  of  France,  not  to  invade 
or  usurp  upon  one  another's  dominions ;  and  these  above-men- 
tioned places  belonging  to  the  empire  were  restored  in  the  year 
1 4V  8.*  Upon  the  same  account  Cambray  was  delivered  up, 
or  put  into  a  state  of  neutrality,  the  king  being  content  to 
lose  it ;  but  the  truth  is,  the  inhabitants  had  received  him 
at  first  upon  those  terms. 


Ch.  III. — How  King  Louis,  by  the  Management  of  Charles  d'Amboise 
his  Lieutenant,  recovered  many  Towns  in  Burgundy,  which  the  Prince 
of  Orange  had  persuaded  to  revolt  from  him. — 1478. 

The  war  was  still  carried  on  in  Burgundy ;  but  the  king 
could  not  accomplish  his  designs,  because  the  Prince  of 
Orange  was  chosen  by  the  Burgundians  to  be  their  lieute- 
nant, and  was  secretly  assisted  by  the  Germans,  for  the 
sake  of  his  money,  and  not  out  of  love  to  Duke  Maximilian  ; 
for  there  was  not  a  man  in  the  whole  country  that  espoused 
his  interest,  at  least  during  the  time  I  speak  of.  These 
Germans  were  Swiss  troops  in  search  of  adventure,  and  the 
Swiss  are  neither  friends  nor  well-wishers  to  the  House 
of  Austria.  The  Burgundians  had  little  assistance  from 
them,  although  their  pay  was  good ;  and  no  prince  could 
have  paid  them  better  than  Duke  Sigismond  of  Austria, 
Maximilian's  uncle,  whose  territories  lay  near,  especially  the 

*  The  treaty  of  Treves,  by  which  the  king  restored  all  that  he  held 
m  Burgundy  and  Hainault,  bears  date  on  the  11th  of  July,  1478. — 
Lehglej-,  iii.  540. 


1 478. J  CHARACTER   Of    S1GISMUND.  19 

county  of  Ferrete,  which  he  had  sold,  not  many  years  be- 
fore, for  ten  thousand  florins  of  the  Rhine,  to  Charles  Duke 
of  Burgundy,  and  had  afterwards  repossessed  himself  of  it, 
without  returning  the  money  ;  and  he  keeps  it  now  by  force. 
Sigismond  was  never  a  person  of  great  penetration,  nor  was 
he  very  just  and  honourable  in  his  dealings,  and  from  such 
allies  no  great  assistance  is  to  be  expected.  He  was  of  the 
number  of  those  princes  I  mentioned  before,  who  know 
nothing  of  their  own  affairs  but  what  their  ministers  of 
state  are  pleased  to  represent ;  and  they  are  always  re- 
warded for  their  indolence  and  supineness  in  their  old  age, 
as  Sigismond  was  in  this  case. 

During  these  wars  his  ministers,  who  had  the  sole  admi- 
nistration of  affairs,  engaged  him  on  what  side  they  pleased  ; 
and  for  the  most  part  he  entered  into  an  alliance  with  the 
King  of  France  against  his  own  nephew,  and  in  the  end 
would  have  given  his  hereditary  territories  (which  were 
very  large)  to  a  foreign  family,  and  disappointed  his  own 
relations  (for  though  he  had  been  twice  married,  he  never 
had  any  issue);  but  at  last,  about  three  years  since*,  by  the 
persuasion  of  another  set  of  ministers,  he  conveyed  all  his 
estates  to  his  nephew  Maximilian  (at  present  King  of  the 
Romans)f,  reserving  only  a  pension  of  about  a  third  part 
of  the  revenue,  without  any  authority  or  power ;  but,  as 
I  have  been  informed,  he  has  often  repented  of  it  since; 
and  if  the  story  be  not  true,  it  is  at  least  very  proba- 
ble. And  such  is  the  fate  of  princes  who  live  so  carelessly, 
and  like  beasts;  and  who  certainly  are  most  highly  to  be 
condemned,  upon  account  of  the  great  responsibility  and 
duty  that  God  has  laid  upon  them  in  this  world.  These 
errors  and  imprudent  actions  are  not  so  much  to  be  laid  to 
the  charge  of  weak  and  stupid  princes,  as  of  those  who  are 
endued  with  a  sufficient  share  of  sense  and  understanding, 
and  yet  squander  away  all  their  time  in  pleasure  and  folly  ; 
such  princes  have  no  claim  on  our  compassion  when  any 
misfortune  befals  them.  And,  on  the  other  side,  those  who 
divide    their    time    according    to    their  age,   sometimes    in 

*  Sigismund  transferred  his  hereditary  estates  to  his  nephew,  the  Arch, 
duke  Maximilian,  in  1492. 

t  Maximilian  was  elected  KiDg  of  the  Romans  on  the  16th  February 
U86. 

o  a 


20  THE    MEMOIRS    OF    FIIILIP    DE    COMMINFS.  [1478. 

council,  and  sometimes  in  festivities  and  diversions,  are 
much  to  be  commended  ;  and  those  subjects  are  happy  who 
nave  such  princes  to  rule  over  them. 

The  war  in  Burgundy  was  carried  on  for  some  time  by 
help  of  the  little  assistance  they  received  from  the  Germans  : 
yet  the  king's  forces  were  too  powerful  for  them ;  for  the 
Burgundians  wanted  money,  and  their  garrisons  were  cor- 
rupted. The  Lord  of  Craon,  who  was  the  king's  lieutenant 
in  those  parts,  besieged  Dole*,  the  chief  town  in  the  county 
of  Burgundy  ;  which  he  presumed  he  should  quickly  make 
himself  master  of,  upon  account  of  the  weakness  of  the 
garrison"]' :  but  his  confidence  proved  much  to  his  disadvan- 
tage ;  for,  being  surprised  by  a  sudden  sally,  he  lost  some  few 
of  his  men,  and  a  great  part  of  his  cannon ;  which  so 
highly  raised  the  king's  displeasure  against  him,  that,  being 
vexed  at  this  unfortunate  action,  he  began  to  think  of  send- 
ing a  new  governor  into  the  county  of  Burgundy,  not  only 
upon  account  of  this  misfortune,  but  for  the  great  and  ex- 
cessive sums  of  money  which  had  been  exacted  in  those  parts. 
However,  before  the  Lord  of  Craon  laid  down  the  command 
of  the  army,  he  engaged  and  defeated  a  party  of  Germans 
and  Burgundians^,  in  which  action  Monsieur   de   Chasteau- 

*  Dole,  formerly  the  capital  of  Franche-Comte,  is  a  very  ancient 
town  in  the  department  of  Jura,  in  France.  It  stands  on  the  right 
bank  of  the  Doubs,  and  is  well  placed  for  trade  on  the  canal  that 
joins  the  Rhone  and  Rhine.  It  is  pleasantly  situated  on  the  £rcst  and 
slope  of  a  hill ;  the  streets  are  rather  steep,  but  well  built,  and  orna- 
mented with  fountains  ;  and  the  neighbourhood  is  prettily  laid  out  in 
gardens,  vineyards,  and  promenades.  A  ruined  aqueduct  and  amphi- 
theatre, and  some  remains  of  the  old  Roman  road  from  Lyons  to  the 
Rhine,  mark  the  place  as  having  been  a  Roman  station.  After  its  cap- 
ture by  the  French,  as  related  in  the  text,  it  sustained  several  remark- 
able sieges.  In  1530,  it  was  strongly  fortified  by  the  Emperor  Charles  V., 
into  whose  hands  it  had  come  with  the  rest  of  Franche-Comte.  In 
1636  it  was  fiercely,  but  ineffectually,  besieged  by  the  Prince  of  Conde; 
but  Louis  XIV.  took  it  in  1668,  and  again  in  1674,  when  he  demolished 
the  fortifications.  At  length,  by  the  treaty  of  Nimeguen,  the  town, 
together  with  the  whole  of  Franche-Comte,  was  made  over  to  France. 

•f  The  chief  commander  in  Dole  was  the  Lord  of  Montballon  ;  with 
him  was  a  Knight  of  Berne,  with  about  900  Swiss  ;  the  garrison  con- 
sisted in  all  of  about  2000  fighting  men.  In  their  sally,  they  slew  800 
or  900  of  the  French. — Molinet,  ii.  49. 

+  On  the  15th  of  June,  1478. 


1478.]         THE  SWISS  CONFEDERATION.  21 

guyon  *  (the  greatest  lord  in  Burgundy)  was  taken  pri- 
soner; but  besides  that,  nothing  of  importance  was  done 
that  day.  I  speak  only  by  hear-say  ;  though,  if  we  may  be- 
lieve report,  the  Lord  of  Craon  behaved  himself  with  a  great 
deal  of  valour  and  intrepidity  in  that  engagement. 

As  I  was  saying,  the  king,  for  the  reasons  above-men- 
tioned, resolved  to  put  a  new  governor  into  the  county  of 
Burgundy  ;  but  not  to  meddle  with  the  profits  or  advan- 
tages of  the  Lord  of  Craon's  places  f;  he  only  deprived  him 
of  his  guards,  and  left  him  but  six  men-at-arms,  and  a  dozen 
archers  to  attend  him.  The  Lord  of  Craon  was  grown  very 
unwieldy,  and  retired  well  satisfied  to  his  country-seat, 
where  he  lived  in  great  ease  and  plenty.  The  king  put  into 
his  post  the  Lord  Charles  of  Amboise,  Lord  of  Chaumont,  a 
valiant,  discreet,  and  diligent  officer,  who  at  once  endeavoured 
to  dissuade  the  Germans  from  assisting  the  Burgundians, 
and  to  induce  them  to  enter  into  the  king's  service  (not  that 
he  valued  th/eir  service,  but  in  order  to  facilitate  his  conquest 
Df  the  rest  of  that  country.)  To  this  purpose  the  king  sent 
to  the  Germans  or  Swiss  (whom  he  styled  Messieurs  des 
Ligues),  and  offered  them  very  handsome  terms:  first,  a 
pension  of  twenty  thousand  francs,  to  be  paid  annually  to 
their  four  chief  towns,  Berne,  Lucerne,  Zurich,  and  I  sup- 
pose Fribourg,  with  their  three  cantons  (or  villages  upon  the 
mountains)  Schwitz,  which  now  gives  name  to  the  whole 
country,  Soleure  and  Unterwald  :  secondly,  twenty  thou- 
sand francs  per  annum  to  particular  persons,  whose  assist- 
ance he  used  in  his  negotiations  ;  and  he  also  made  himself 
one  of  their  burgesses,  and  their  principal  ally,  and  desired 
it  might  be  declared  in  writing;  but  they  made  some  diffi- 
culty of  consenting  to  that,  because,  from  time  immemorial, 
the  Duke  of  Savoy  had  been  their  principal  ally;  yet  at 
length  they  consented,  and  promised  to  furnish  the  king  with 
a  body  of  six  thousand  men,  to  be  employed  continually  in 
his  service,  upon  condition  that  he  should  pay  to  each  man 

•  Hugh  de  Chalon,  son  of  William  Prince  of  Orange. 

f  This  Lord  de  Craon  was  at  that  time  Governor  of  Ohampagn" 
Brie,  Burgundy,  and  Touraine :  he  was  also  in  possession  of  the  govern 
ment  of  several  cities  in  France,  and  chief  chamberlain  to  the  king 
besides  enjoying  the  whole  revenue  of  the  barony  of  Craon  in  Anjoii 
which  was  his  own  inheritance. 

C  3 


22  THE    MEMOIRS   OF    PHILIP   DE   COMMUTES.         [1478. 

four  Rhine  florins  and  a  half  every  month  ;  and  that  number 
of  Swiss  were  retained  in  the  king's  service  till  his  death. 

A  poor  prince  could  not  have  managed  this  affair,  which 
turned  so  much  to  the  king's  advantage  at  that  time  ;  though 
I  am  of  opinion,  in  the  end  it  will  be  a  prejudice  to  the 
Swiss ;  for  they  are  now  so  used  to  money  (which  waa 
scarce  with  them  before),  especially  gold,  that  it  was  like  to 
have  raised  a  civil  war  among  them.  Otherwise,  nothing 
was  capable  of  ruining  or  doing  them  any  mischief;  for 
their  country  is  so  poor  and  mountainous,  and  the  inhabit- 
ants of  such  a  martial  temper,  that  few  or  none  of  the  neigh- 
bouring princes  could  think  it  worth  their  while  to  endea- 
vour to  conquer  them.  When  these  treaties  were  agreed 
on,  and  all  the  Swiss  in  Burgundy  had  entered  into  the 
king's  service,  the  Burgundian  power  was  utterly  broken 
and  destroyed  ;  and  to  bring  matters  to  a  conclusion,  the 
governor,  Monsieur  de  Chaumont,  after  performing  seve- 
ral notable  exploits,  besieged  Rochefort  *,  a  castle  near  Dole, 
commanded  by  Monsieur  de  Vaudray,  and  took  it  by  capitu- 
lation. He  also  besieged  Dole  (where,  as  I  said  before, 
his  predecessor  had  been  repulsed),  and  took  it  by  storm. 
The  newly  enlisted  Swiss  designed  to  have  got  in  and  de- 
fended it ;  but  a  body  of  Frank  archers  getting  in  amongst 
them  (not  with  any  suspicion  of  their  design,  but  merely 
from  a  desire  of  plunder),  when  they  were  entered,  all  of 
them  fell  to  pillaging,  and  the  town  was  burnt  and  de- 
stroyed. 

Not  long  after  he  besieged  Aussonef ,  a  very  strong  town ; 
but  he  held  intelligence  with  the  garrison,  and  wrote  to  the 
kins  for  offices  for  his  friends  before  investing  the  town ; 
which  were  readily  granted.  I  was  not  upon  the  spot  my- 
self, yet  I  was  well  informed  of  what  was  done  ;  both  by  the 
reports  which  were  made  to  the  king,  and  the  letters  which 
were  sent  to  him,  and  which  I  saw,  as  I  was  employed  by  the 
king  to  return  answers  to  many  of  them.  Aussone  had  but 
a  small  garrison  in  it,  and  the  chief  officers  being  in  treaty 
with  the  governor,  in  five  or  six  days  the  place  was  surren- 

*  Rochefort,  in  the  department  of  Jura,  about  four  miles  from  Dole. 

f  Auxonne,  a  fortified  town  on  the  Saone,  eighteen  miles  from  Dijon  ; 
celebrated  for  its  fine  bridge  and  causeway.  It  surrendered  to  the  king 
on  the  4th  of  June,  1479. 


1478.]  SUBJUGATION    OK    EUROCNDT.  23 

dered  ;  so  that  there  remained  nothing  in  all  Burgundy  for 
the  king  to  take  possession  of,  but  three  or  four  castles  upon 
the  mountains,  to  wit,  Jou*  and  others;  and  he  had  the 
obedience  of  Bezancont,  which  is  an  imperial  town,  not  at 
all,  or  very  slightly,  subject  to  the  county  of  Burgundy  ;  but, 
being  seated  as  it  were  in  the  middle  of  it,  paying  a  sort  of 
obedience  to  the  prince  of  that  country.  The  governor  took 
possession  of  the  town,  and  the  inhabitants  having  paid  him 
the  homage  which  they  were  accustomed  to  pay  to  the 
princes  who  formerly  had  possession  of  Burgundy,  he  im- 
mediately quitted  it.  After  this  expeditious  manner  was 
the  whole  province  of  Burgundy  subdued;  and  the  king 
watched  the  business  very  closely,  fearing  the  governor  de- 
sired some  place  might  still  hold  out,  in  order  to  continue 
longer  in  his  command,  and  not  to  be  moved  into  another 
country  to  serve  the  king  upon  some  other  expedition :  for 
Burgundy  is  a  plentiful  country,  and  he  managed  it  as  if  it 
had  been  his  own  inheritance,  so  that  the  Lord  of  Chaumont, 
as  well  as  the  Lord  of  Craon,  made  his  fortune  there. 

This  province  for  some  time  continued  in  peace,  under  the  ad- 
ministration of  the  Lord  of  Chaumont ;  but  afterwards  several 
towns  rebelled,  as  BeauneJ,  Semur§,  Verdun||,  and  others. 
(I  was  then  present,  having  been  sent  thither  by  the  king 
with  the  pensioners  of  his  household.  This  was  the  first 
time  the  pensioners  had  any  officer  to  command  them,  and 
since  then  they  have  never  been  without  one.)  Which  towns 

*  Joux,  a  strong  fortress  on  a  high  mountain  in  the  department  of 
Doubs,  was  eventually  surrendered  to  the  king  by  the  treachery  of  its 
governor,  who  sold  it  to  Louis  XL  for  14,000  crowns.  In  later  times, 
Joux  has  acquired  celebrity  as  the  prison  of  Fouquet,  of  Mirabeau,  and 
of  Toussaint  l'Ouverture. 

f  Besancon,  now  the  chief  town  of  the  department  of  Doubs,  is  a  very 
ancient  city.  Julius  Caesar  mentions  it  as  one  of  the  largest  and  strongest 
cities  of  Gaul ;  it  was  then  the  capital  of  the  Sequani.  In  456  it  was 
d  ivastated  by  the  Burgundians,  and  in  937  by  the  Hungarians.  From 
1184  to  1664  it  was  an  imperial  city  ;  but  in  1668  it  was  captured  by 
Louis  XIV.,  and  it  has  since  belonged  to  France. 

X  Beaune,  an  old  Burgundian  town  in  the  department  of  Cote-d'Or, 
23  miles  from  Dijon.     It  is  now  chiefly  celebrated  for  its  wines. 

§  Semur,  a  considerable  town  in  the  department  of  Cote-d'Or,  built  on 
a  granite  rock  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Arrnancon,  45  miles  west  ol 
Dijon. 

]  Verdun-sur-Saone,  in  the  department  of  Saone-et-Loire. 

c  4 


21  THfc    MEMOIRS    OF    PHILIP   DE    COMMINES.  |"J  478 

were  reduced  by  the  wisdom  and  conduct  of  our  general, 
and  the  indiscretion  of  the  enemy.  By  this  one  may  plainly 
gee  the  vast  difference  there  is  between  men  ;  which  proceeds 
from  the  grace  of  God,  who  gives  wise  ministers  of  state  to 
that  nation  He  designs  to  support,  and  imparts  to  the  prince 
that  governs  it  wisdom  to  choose  them  ;  and  He  has  made, 
and  does  still  make  it  appear,  that  in  all  things  He  will 
maintain  our  monarchy,  not  only  in  the  person  of  our  late 
master,  but  of  our  present  king.  Those  who  lost  these 
places  the  second  time  were  strong  enough  to  have  defended 
them,  had  they  assembled  their  forces  sufficiently  soon,  and 
thrown  them  into  the  towns :  but  they  gave  the  governor 
leisure  to  draw  his  troops  together;  which  they  ought  not  to 
have  done,  for,  having  intelligence  of  his  strength,  and 
knowing  the  country  was  entirely  in  his  interest,  they  ought 
to  have  thrown  themselves  into  Beaune;  which  was  a  strong 
town,  and  more  defensible  than  the  rest. 

The  very  day  on  which  the  governor  marched  out  to  in- 
vest a  little  town  called  Verdun,  upon  information  of  their 
weak  condition,  the  Burgundians  entered  it,  in  their  march 
to  Beaune.  They  were  in  all,  both  horse  and  foot,  six  hun- 
dred choice  men  out  of  the  county  of  Ferrete,  commanded 
by  several  good  Burgundian  officers,  of  whom  Simon  de 
Quingey  was  one.  They  halted  at  a  time  when  they  might 
have  got  into  Beaune  ;  which,  if  they  had  done,  the  place  had 
been  almost  impregnable  ;  but  for  want  of  good  counsel,  they 
stayed  a  night  too  long,  were  besieged  in  Verdun,  and  taken 
by  storm :  and  after  that,  Beaune  was  reduced,  and  all  the 
rest ;  the  loss  of  which  towns  the  Burgundians  could  never 
recover.  1  was  at  this  time  with  the  king's  pensioners  (as  I 
said  before)  in  Burgundy ;  from  whence  I  was  summoned  by 
the  king,  upon  an  information  he  had  received  that  I  had 
favoured  certain  of  the  citizens  at  Dijon  about  the  quartering 
of  soldiers.  This  charge,  with  other  little  suspicions,  was 
the  cause  why  he  sent  me  away  very  suddenly  to  Florence.* 

*  The  Cardinal  of  Pavia  wrote  to  the  Pope :  "  I  know  that  there  i9 
coming  to  us,  on  the  part  of  the  King  of  France,  an  ambassador  of  high 
esteem  in  Gaul,  with  a  mission  of  overweening  pride.  He  is  charged  to 
threaten  us  with  the  withdrawal  of  the  allegiance  of  the  French,  and 
with  an  appeal  to  a  council,  if  we  do  not  revoke  the  censures  pronounced 
against  the  Florentines  ;   if  those  who  murdered  Giuliano  de'  Medici, 


1478.] 


COMMENES   GOES   INTO   IT  ALT.  25 


I  obeyed  him,  as  in  duty  bound,  and,  upon  the  receipt  of  his 
letters  set  out  immediately  for  Italy. 


Ch.  IV.  —  How  the  Lord  of  Argenton  was  sent  to  Florence  during  the 
Wars  in  Burgundy,  and  how  he  received  Homage  of  the  Duke  of 
Milan,  in  the  King's  Name,  for  the  Duchy  of  Genoa.  —  1478. 

1  The  design  of  my  going  into  Italy  was,   to  adjust  a  differ- 

'ence  between  two  illustrious  families,  very  eminent  in  those 

days.     One  was  the  family  of  the  Medicis,  the  other  of  the 

Pacistj    which   last   being  supported    by   the   Popef,   and 

Ferrarid  King  of  Naples  J,  endeavoured  to  cut  off  Laurence 

and  those  even  who  abetted  his  murder,  are  not  punished  ;  and,  finally, 
if  we  do  not  abandon  the  war  which  we  have  just  commenced."  —  Sis- 
mondi,  xi.  110. 

*  The  history  of  the  Medici  family  is  too  well  known  to  require  reca- 
pitulation in  this  place.  The  family  of  the  Fazzi  was  one  of  the  noblest 
and  most  respectable  in  Florence:  numerous  in  its  members,  and  pos- 
sessed of  great  wealth  and  influence.  Of  three  brothers,  two  of  whom 
had  filled  the  office  of  gonfaloniere,  only  one  was  living  at  the  period 
referred  to  in  the  text;  and  this  man,  Giacopo  de'  Fazzi,  who  was  re- 
garded as  the  chief  of  the  family,  though  far  advanced  in  years,  was,  if 
we  may  credit  the  account  of  Folitiano,  an  unprincipled  libertine,  who 
having,  by  gaming  and  intemperance,  dissipated  his  paternal  property, 
sought  an  opportunity  of  averting  or  concealing  his  own  ruin  in  that  of 
the  republic.  For  a  full  account  of  the  conspiracy  of  the  Pazzi,  see 
Roscoe's  Life  of  Lorenzo  de  Medici,  in  Bohn's  Standard  Library. 

f  Sixtus  iV.,'previously  called  Francesco  da  Savona,  or  Delia  Rovere, 
was  the  son  of  a  fisherman.  By  his  talents  he  became  general  of  the 
Franciscan  order,  and  afterwards  Cardinal.  He  was  elected  Pope  on  the 
9th  of  August,  1471.  "He  was  the  first,"  says  Machiavelli,  "who  be- 
gan to  show  how  far  a  pope  might  go,  and  how  much  that  which  was 
previously  regarded  as  sinful  lost  its  iniquity  when  committed  by  a 
pontiff."  He  died  on  the  13th  of  August,  1484,  in  the  seventy-first  year 
of  his  age. 

%  Ferdinand  I.,  King  of  Naples,  succeeded  to  the  throne  on  the  death 
of  his  father  in  1458.  His  claim  was  contested  by  John  of  Anjon,  sup- 
ported by  many  of  the  chief  barons  of  the  kingdom;  but  Ferdinand  sub- 
dued them,  and  reigned  for  thirty  years,  after  the  discomfiture  of  his 
competitor,  with  success  and  ability.  His  character  was,  however,  dark 
and  vindictive,  and  his  government  was  m  irked  by  a  degree  of  ill-faitb 
hi,  well  as  tyranny  towards  his  subjects  that  rendered  "liiin  deserved Ij 
odious     He  died  in  1494 


26  THE   MEMOIRS   OF    THILIP   DE    COMMUTES.         [1478, 

de  Medicis*,  and  all  his  adherents.  They  failed  in  their 
design  upon  Laurence  de  Medicis;  but  they  slew  his  brother 
Julian  f  in  tlie  great  church  in  Florence  X  '■>  and  with  him  one 
Franquein  Noli  § ,  a  servant  of  the  house  of  Medicis,  who 
threw  himself  before  Julian  in  hopes  to  have  saved  him. 
Laurence  was  severely  wounded  || ,  but  made  his  retreat  into 
the  vestry  of  the  church,  whose  doors  were  of  copper,  and 
had  been  given  to  the  church  by  his  father.^f  A  servant**, 
whom  he  had  delivered  out  of  prison  only  two  days  before, 
did  him  good  service,  and  received  several  wounds  which 

*  Lorenzo  de'  Medici,  surnamed  the  Magnificent.  For  a  full  account 
of  this  illustrious  man,  no  less  celebrated  as  a  politician  than  as  an 
author  and  patron  of  science  and  art,  see  his  Life,  by  Mr.  Roscoe,  in 
Bohn's  Standard  Library. 

t  Giuliano  de'  Medici,  a  younger  brother  of  Lorenzo,  was  born  in  the 
year  1453.  Between  him  and  his  illustrious  brother  there  subsisted  a 
warm  and  uninterrupted  affection.  Educated  under  the  same  roof, 
they  had  always  participated  in  the  same  studies  and  amusements. 
Giuliano  was  well  acquainted  with  the  learned  languages  ;  he  delighted 
in  music  and  in  poetry,  particularly  in  that  of  his  native  tongue,  which 
he  cultivated  with  success  ;  and,  by  his  generosity  and  urbanity,  he 
gained,  in  a  great  degree,  the  affections  of  the  populace.  At  the  death 
of  his  father  he  was  associated  with  his  brother  Lorenzo  in  the  govern- 
ment of  Florence,  and  he  therefore  incurred  the  animosity  of  the  Pazzi. 
He  was  assassinated  on  Sunday,  the  26th  of  August,  1478. 

t  In  the  Church  of  Santa  Reparata  at  Florence,  since  called  Santa 
Maria  del  Fiore.— Machiavelli,  p.  359.  (Bohn's  Standard  Library 
edition.) 

§  Francesco  Nori,  a  most  intimate  friend  of  the  Medici.  — Machia- 
velli, p.  360. 

||  The  assassination  of  Lorenzo  de'  Medici  had  been  committed,  in  the 
first  instance,  to  Giovan  Battista  Montesecco,  a  distinguished  condot- 
tiere  in  the  service  of  the  Pope;  and  he  had  willingly  undertaken  the 
office,  whilst  he  understood  that  it  was  to  be  executed  in  a  private 
dwelling;  but  he  shrank  from  the  idea  of  polluting  the  house  of  God 
with  murder.  Two  ecclesiastics  —  Stefano  da  Bagnone,  an  apostolic 
scribe,  and  Antonio  Maffei,  a  priest  of  Volterra  —  were  therefore  selected 
for  the  commission  of  the  bloody  deed.  Maffei  aimed  a  blow  at  Lorenzo's 
throat,  which  took  effect  behind  his  neck,  and  only  roused  him  to  defend 
himself.  Drawing  his  sword,  he  drove  off  his  assailants,  and  made 
good  his  retreat  to  the  sacristy. — See  Roscoe's  Lorenzo  dt  Medici,  pp. 
142 — 144. 

%  Piero  de'  Medici,  who  died  in  1472. 

**  This  was  probably  Francesco  Nori. — Roscoe,  pp.  144.  501.  Sis- 
raondi  (xi.  97.)  mentions  two  esquires,  Andrea  and  Lorenzo  Cavalcanti, 
M  having  assisted  Lorenzo  de'  Medici  to  beat  off  his  assailants. 


1478.]  CONSPIRACY  OF   THE   PAZZI.  27 

were  aimed  at  Laurence.  This  assassination  was  committed 
at  the  time  of  high  mass;  and  the  moment  appointed  for  its 
execution  was  when  the  officiating  priest  should  begin  the 
Sanctus.  But  it  fell  out  otherwise  than  was  designed;  for, 
supposing  all  sure,  some  of  the  conspirators*  ran  to  the 
palace  to  kill  the  senators  who  were  there!  (which  senate, 
consisting  of  about  nine  persons,  has  the  whole  administra- 
tion of  the  affairs  of  that  city,  and  is  changed  every  three 
months)  ;' but  they  were  ill  supported,  and  having  run  up- 
stairs into  the  palace,  somebody  shut  one  of  the  doors  behind 
them  ;  so  that  when  they  were  got  up,  there  were  not  above 
four  or  five  of  them,  and  those  in  such  a  terrible  consterna- 
tion, that  they  knew  not  what  to  say  or  do. 

The  senators  and  their  servants  that  attended  them,  per- 
ceiving the  astonishment  of  the  conspirators,  looked  out  of 
the  windows,  saw  all  the  town  in  confusion,  and  heard 
Signor  James  de  Pacis  -f  and  his  accomplices  crying  out  in 
the  palace-yard,  "  Liberia  !  Liberia  !  Popolo  !  Popolo  !  " 
thinking  by  this  means  to  have  stirred  up  the  people  to  take 
their  part  ;  but  they  were  mightily  mistaken,  for  the  mob 
kept  themselves  very  quiet;  upon  which  James  de  Pacis  and 
his  adherents,  despairing  of  success,  betook  themselves  to 
flight.  The  governors  and  magistrates  of  the  city,  who 
were  then  in  the  palace,  finding  how  matters   went,  imme- 

*  Francesco  Salviati,  Archbishop  of  Pisa,  with  about  thirty  followers. 
—  Machiavelli,  p.  360. 

f  Giacopo  de'  Pazzi  was  the  head  of  the  family  of  that  name,  and  at 
the  time  of  this  conspiracy  was  far  advanced  in  years.  He  escaped 
from  the  city  during  the  tumult;  but  on  the  following  day  he  was  made 
prisoner  by  the  peasants  of  liomagna,  who,  regardless  of  his  entreaties 
to  put  him  to  death,  brought  him  to  Florence,  and  delivered  him  up  to 
the  magistrates.  He  was  immediately  hanged  from  the  palace  windows; 
but,  in  consideration  of  his  rank,  his  relatives  were  allowed  to  inter  his 
body  in  the  church  of  Santa  Crocc.  "  But,"  says  Machiavelli  (p.  363),  "  as 
if  to  mark  the  event  by  some  extraordinary  circumstance,  after  having 
been  laid  in  the  tomb  of  his  ancestors,  he  was  disinterred  like  an  ex- 
communicated person,  and  thrown  into  a  hole  outside  the  city  walls: 
from  this  grave  he  was  taken,  and  with  the  halter  in  which  he  had  been 
hanged,  his  body  was  dragged  naked  through  the  city,  and,  as  if  unfit 
for  sepulture  on  earth,  was  thrown  by  the  populace  into  the  Arno,  whose 
waters  were  then  very  high."  Such  was  the  fate  of  a  man  who  had  en- 
joyed the  highest  honours  of  the  republic,  and  for  his  services  to  the 
ktate  had  been  rewarded  with  the  privileges  of  equestrian  rani. 


28  THE   MEMOIRS   OP   PHILIP   DE   COMMTNES.         [1478. 

diately  seized  upon  the  five  or  six  who  had  got  up  into  the 
room,  with  a  design  to  murder  them  and  so  get  command 
over  the  city,  and  caused  them  to  he  hanged  at  the  bars  of 
the  palace  windows  ;  and  among  them  was  the  Archbishop  of 
Pisa.*  The  senators  finding  the  people  unanimously  declare 
for  the  House  of  Medicis,  sent  immediately  to  all  the  passes 
upon  the  road,  to  stop  and  apprehend  all  persons  that  were 
found  flying,  and  to  bring  them  before  the  senate.  James  de 
Pacis  was  presently  apprehended,  and  with  him  an  officer  j 
of  the  Pope's,  who  had  the  command  of  a  brigade  of  men-at- 
arms  under  the  Count  Hieronymo  J,  who  was  concerned  in 
the  plot.  Pacis  and  his  accomplices  were  hanged  from  the 
windows,  but  the  Pope's  officer  had  the  favour  of  being  be- 
headed. Several  more  were  discovered  in  the  town  (and 
amongst  them  Francisco  de  Pacis  §),  and  all  were  hanged 

*  Francesco  Salviati  was  appointed  Archbishop  of  Pisa  by  Pope  Six- 
tus  IV.,  in  opposition  to  the  wishes  of  the  Signory  of  Florence,  who  had 
for  some  time  endeavoured  to  prevent  him  from  exercising  his  episcopal 
functions.  Hence  his  hostility  to  the  Medici  family.  He  appears  to 
have  been  totally  unfit  for  his  high  preferment ;  and  his  last  moments, 
if  ve  may  credit  Politiano,  were  marked  by  a  singular  instance  of  fero- 
city. Being  suspended  close  to  Francesco  de'  Pazzi,  he  seized  the 
naked  body  with  his  teeth,  and  relaxed  not  his  hold  even  in  the  agony 
of  dea'h. — Roscoe,  pp.  141.  146. 

f  Giovanni  Battista  de  Montesecco.  a  distinguished  captain  of  Con- 
dottieri  in  the  service  of  Pope  Sixtus  IV. 

f.  Girolamo  Riario  was  either  the  son  or  nephew  of  Pope  Sixtus  IV. 
He  was  dignified  by  the  Pontiff  with  the  appellation  of  count :  and  that 
it  might  not  to  be  an  empty  title,  40,000  ducats  were  paid  out  of  the 
papal  exchequer  for  the  principality  of  Imola,  which  was  at  once  con- 
ferred on  him,  and  to  which  was  afterwards  added  the  dominion  of 
Forli.  This  dilapidation  of  the  patrimony  of  the  Church  to  aggrandise 
the  relatives  of  the  Pope  was  one  of  the  most  scandalous  examples  of 
what  was  afterwards  called  the  nepotism  of  the  Court  of  Rome.  Giro- 
lamo Riario  married  a  natural  daughter  of  Galeazzo  Sforza,  Duke  of 
Milan  ;  and  was  assassinated  by  three  of  his  subjects,  over  whom  he 
had  shamefully  tyrannised,  on  the  14th  of  April,  1488. 

§  Francesco  de'  Pazzi,  a  nephew  of  Giacopo,  seems  to  have  been  the 
leader  in  this  conspiracy.  He  it  was  who  gave  the  death-stroke  to  Giu- 
liano  de'  Medici ;  and  such  was  the  violence  of  his  rage  that,  in  striking 
his  victim,  he  wounded  himself  severely  in  the  thigh.  He  then  hastened 
to  his  house,  and  endeavoured  to  mount  his  horse,  in  order  to  ride 
through  the  city,  and  call  the  people  to  arms  ;  but  he  found  himself 
unable  to  do  so,  from  the  nature  of  his  wound,  and  the  great  effusion 
of  blood  it  had  caused.  Soon  after  he  was  dragged  from  his  bed 
by    the  infuriated   populace,   and  longed   from  the  windows   of  the 


1478.]  COMM1NES   ARRIVES   AT   FLORENCE.  29 

immediately;  so  that  in  the  whole  I  think  there  were  ahout 
fourteen  or  fifteen  persons  of  quality  hanged,  besides  servants 
who  were  killed  in  the  town.* 

Not  long  after  this  occurrence  I  arrived  at  Florence,  in 
quality  of  an  agent  for  the  king,  having  made  no  stay  since 
1  left  Burgundy,  unless  it  were  two  or  three  days  with  the 
Duchess  of  Savoy,  our  king's  sister,  who  received  me  very 
graciously  |  From  thence  I  proceeded  to  Milan,  where  I 
continued  two  or  three  days  likewise,  to  solicit  supplies  for 
the  Florentines,  with  whom  at  that  time  the  Milanese  were 
in  alliance.  The  Milanese  granted  them  very  freely,  because 
it  was  their  duty,  as  well  as  the  king's  request,  and  sent 
them  immediately  a  reinforcement  of  three  hundred  men-at- 
arms,  and  afterwards  a  greater  number.  In  short,  the  Pope, 
immediately  upon  hearing  of  this  tumult  in  Florence,  ex- 
communicated the  Florentines  },  and  caused  his  own  army, 
in  conjunction  with  that  of  the  King  of  Naples,  to  march 
against  them.  The  Neapolitan  army  was  numerous,  made  a 
fine  appearance,  and  had  abundance  of  brave  soldiers  in  it. 
They  first  besieged  Castellina  §,  not  far  from  Sienna,  and  took 
it,  witli  several  other  places  ;  so  that  it  was  a  great  chance 
that  the  Florentines  were  not  utterly  ruined,  for  they  had 
enjoyed  a  long  peace,  and  were  not  conscious  of  their  danger. 
Laurence  de  Medicis,  who  was  the  chief  man  of  that  city, 
was  but  young  ||,  and  managed  by  persons  of  his  own  years; 
yet  his  judgment  was  of  great  authority  among  them.  They 
had  but  few  officers,  and   their  army  was   but  small.     The 

palace.  His  brother  Renato  was  also  hanged  ;  and  the  rest  of  this  de- 
voted family  were  condemned  either  to  imprisonment  or  exile  ;  with 
the  single  exception  of  Guglielmo  de'  Pazzi,  who  was  connected  by 
marriage  with  the  Medici  family,  and  spared  accordingly. 

«  "  The  executioner,"  says  Sismondi,  "  did  not  rest  till  200  Floren- 
tines had  perished  in  consequence  of  the  conspiracy  of  the  Pazzi.  All 
those  who  had  any  relation  of  blood  or  connection  of  friendship  with 
them,  all  those  who  had  shown  any  opposition  to  the  government,  were 
torn  from  their  houses,  dragged  through  the  streets,  and  put  to  death." 

f  The  duchess  granted  liim  a  contingent  of  300  men-at-arms,  to  as- 
sist the  Florentines  against  the  Pope. — Guichenon,  ii.  145. 

%  The  bull  of  excommunication  was  dated  at  Rome,  on  the  1st  of  June 

1478. 

§  La  Castellina,  a  fortress  about  eight  mdes  from  Sienna. 
1  Lorenzo  de'  Medici  was  thirty  years  old  at  th;i  time  •  he  was  born 
on  the  1st  of  January.  1448. 


SO  THE   MEMOIRS   OP   PHTLTP  I>E   OOMMINES.  [1478. 

armies  of  the  Pope  and  King  of  Naples  were  commanded  in 
chief  by  the  Duke  of  Urbin  *,  a  wise  man  and  a  brave  com- 
mander ;  with  him  there  were  likewise  the  Lord  Robert 
d'Arimini  f  (who  has   since  become  a  great  man),  the  Lord 

*  Federigo  da  Montefeltro,  second  Duke  of  Urbino,  succeeded  his 
natural  brother  Oddantonio,  in  1444.  His  character  is  thus  sketched 
by  a  writer  in  the  Edinburgh  Review  (xciv.  348.)  :  "  He  was  a  man  for 
whom  every  human  being  that  becomes  acquainted  with  him  is  bound 
to  express  his  love  and  reverence.  He  himself  was  of  a  loving,  a  re- 
verencing, and  a  thankful  nature.  He  was  a  soldier,  yet  a  lover  of 
books  ;  religious,  but  not  bigoted  ;  energetic,  but  superior  to  anger  ; 
severely  bred,  yet  cheerful  ;  voluptuous  by  temperament,  but  not  by 
habit ;  a  prince  at  once  magnificent  and  paternal  ;  a  right  gentleman 
and  fellow-creature;  and,  above  all,  a  man  true  to  his  word  in  an  age 
of  liars.  He  had  the  good  fortune  to  receive  an  excellent  education, 
as  far  as  one  person  could  give  it.  His  master  understood  the  training 
both  of  mind  and  body.  At  eight  years  of  age  he  was  affianced,  and  at 
fifteen  he  was  married.  He  studied  the  art  of  *var  under  Piccinino  and 
St'orza,  whose  different  systems  of  daring  and  caution  he  is  said  to  have 
combined.  He  had  long  and  successful  contests  with  Sigismund  Mala- 
testa,  his  neighbour,  a  ferocious  dilettante,  who  committed  murders, 
and  struck  medals.  He  had  also  the  honour  of  being  excommunicated 
by  Pope  Eugene  the  Fourth  for  adhering  to  an  unfortunate  friend ;  be- 
came successively  Captain-General  of  the  Florentines,  of  the  Duke  of 
Milan,  and  of  the  King  of  Naples  ;  the  last  of  whom  he  delighted  by  his 
honesty  :  was  then  general  hi  the  service  of  the  Church  ;  refused  to 
break  his  word  with  the  most  faithless  of  his  enemies  ;  built  a  splendid 
palace  and  library,  and  kept  a  stately  court,  which  did  not  hinder  him 
from  mixing  in  the  pleasantest  manner  with  his  people;  was  chosen 
commander  of  the  first  National  Confederation,  prototype  of  the  mea- 
sure so  often  since  desired  by  Italians,  and  so  invariably  nullified  by 
their  divisions  ;  helped  to  procure  for  his  country,  nevertheless,  twenty- 
eight  years  of  comparative  tranquillity;  attended  with  pomp  the  convo- 
cation of  Pope  Sixtus  IV.,  who  invested  him  with  the  dukedom,  and 
married  a  nephew  to  his  daughter  ;  received  the  order  of  the  Garter 
from  our  Edward  IV.,  which,  though  truly  fit  for  such  a  mirror  of 
knighthood,  was  bestowed  with  an  eye  to  his  good  offices  with  the  Pope; 
indulged  his  lovj  of  scholarship  and  philosophy,  and  patronised  art  and 
science ;  rejected  with  scorn  and  horror  a  proposal  to  aid  the  Roman 
Court  in  the  r.ssassination  of  Lorenzo  de'  Medici  and  his  brother,  yet 
thought  it  no  dishonour  to  conceal  the  plot  from  its  objects,  and  to  con- 
duct troops  against  them  for  his  papal  employer;  found  himself,  never- 
theless, in  a  short  time  fighting  on  the  side  of  Lorenzo  against  papal  en- 
croachment; and  on  the  10th  of  September,  in  the  year  1482,  died  of  a 
fever,  caught  during  a  campaign,  and  rendered  fatal  by  his  refusal  to 
quit  his  post." —  See  Dennistoun's  Memoirs  of  the  Dukes  of  Urbino. 

i  Roberto  Malatesta,  Lord  of  Rimini,  one  of  the  most  celebrated 
feaiong  the  condottieri  captains  of  this  period. 


1478.]        COMMINES  RETURNS  TO  FRANCE.  31 

Constantine  de  Pesaro  *,  and  several  other  officers,  with  two 
of  the  king's  sons  (that  is,  the  Duke  of  Calabria  f,  and  Don 
Frederick  J,  botli  of  them  still  living),  and  many  other 
persons  of  quality.  They  took  all  places  which  they  besieged, 
but  not  with  the  same  expedition  as  we  do  in  France,  for 
they  were  not  so  well  skilled  in  the  art  of  taking  or  defend- 
ing a  town ;  but  for  encamping  and  supplying  their  army 
with  provisions,  and  providing  all  things  necessary  for  a 
campaign,  they  understood  that  better  than  we  do.  The  king's 
favourable  inclination  toward  them  was  in  some  measure 
serviceable  to  them ;  but  not  so  much  as  I  could  have  wished, 
for  I  had  no  army  with  which  to  reinforce  them  beyond  my 
own  retinue.  I  stayed  in  Florence  and  its  territories  a  whole 
year,  and  was  nobly  treated  at  their  expense  all  the  while, 
and  with  more  civility  at  last  than  at  first  §  ;  but  being  re- 
called by  the  king,  I  returned  home.  At  Milan  I  received 
homage  of  John  Galeas  ||,  Duke  of  Milan,  for  the  duchy  of 
Genoa  ;  which  homage  was  performed  to  me  for  my  master 
by  the  duke's  mother,  in  her  son's  name.  After  which  I  re- 
turned to  my  master,  who  received  me  very  graciously,  and 
admitted  me  more  freely  to  his  affairs  than  ever  before,  per- 
mitting me  to  lie  with  him,  though  I  was  unworthy  of  that 
favour,  and  many  persons  were  more  deserving  of  such  a 
familiarity  than  myself.  But  he  was  so  discreet  and  saga- 
cious a  prince,  that  no  minister  of  his  could  possibly  mis- 

*  Costanzio  Sforza,  Prince  of  Pesaro,  another  eminent  condottiere, 
nephew  of  Francesco  Sforza,  Duke  of  Milan. 

f  Alphonso  II ,  Duke  of  Calabria,  succeeded  his  father  on  the  throne 
in  May,  1494.  On  the  23rd  of  January,  1495,  he  was  forced  to  abdi- 
cate;  and  he  died  on  the  19th  of  November  following. 

%  Frederic,  Prince  of  Tarento,  became  King  of  Naples  in  1496,  and 
died  on  the  9th  of  November,  1504. 

§  It  is  not  surprising  that  Commines  was  pleased  at  his  treatment 
by  the  Florentines,  when  he  took  leave  of  them  ;  for  Ammirato  (iii. 
126  )  informs  us  that,  at  his  departure,  the  Signory  presented  him  with 
fifty -two  pounds  weight  of  wrought  silver  for  the  use  of  his  table. 

||  Giovanni  Galeazzo  Maria  Sforza  became  Duke  of  Milan  on  the 
death  of  his  father  in  1476.  In  1488  he  married  Isabella,  grand- 
daughter of  Ferdinand,  King  of  Naples.  He  died  on  the  22nd  of  Octo- 
ber, 1494,  at  the  age  of  twenty-five ;  and  the  popular  belief  of  the 
time  was  that  he  was  poisoned  by  his  uncle.  At  the  period  referred  to 
in  the  text  the  youn^  Duke  was  only  nine  years  old,  and  it  was  on  ihii 
account  that  his  mother  did  homage  for  him. 


32  THE   MEMOIRS   OF   PHILIP   DE    COMMINES.  [1479. 

carry  in  any  negotiation  in  which  he  was  employed,  pro- 
vided he  acted  directly  according  to  his  master's  instructions, 
and  added  nothing  of  his  own. 


Ch.  V.  -Of  the  Loid  of  Argenton's  Return  out  of  Italy  into  France, 
and  of  the  Battle  of  Guinegaste. — 1479. 

Upon  my  return  from  Italy  I  found  the  king  our  master 
somewhat  aged,  and  inclined  to  be  sickly;  yet  not  so  much 
as  to  neglect  his  affairs,  which  he  managed  himself,  with 
great  prudence.  He  was  still  engaged  in  his  wars  in  Picardy, 
upon  which  his  heart  was  mightily  set,  and  the  enemy  would 
have  been  no  less  fond  of  that  country,  if  they  could  have 
got  it  into  their  possession.  The  Duke  of  Austria  (at  pre- 
sent King  of  the  Romans)  having  that  year  the  Flemings  at 
his  command,  invested  Therouenne*  ;  upon  which  the  Lord 
des  Cordes,  the  king's  lieutenant  in  Picardy,  assembled  all 
the  forces  that  were  in  that  province,  and  in  the  frontier 
towns,  together  with  eight  thousand  Frank  archers,  and 
marched  to  relieve  it.  Upon  news  of  his  approach,  the 
Duke  of  Austria  raised  the  siege,  and,  advancing  to  meet 
him,  they  came  to  an  engagement  at  a  place  called  G-uine- 
gaste.f  The  duke  had  twenty  thousand  men  or  more  out  of 
the  country  of  Flanders,  besides  some  few  Germans  and 
about  three  hundred  English,  under  the  command  of  Sir 
Thomas  AbriganJ,  an  English  knight,  who  had  been  in  the 
service  of  Charles  Duke  of  Burgundy.  The  king's  cavalry, 
who  were  much  more  numerous  than  the  duke's,  broke  them 
immediately,  and  drove  them  and  their  commander,  the  lord 
Philip  of  Ravestain,  as  far  as  Aire.§  The  duke  took  part  in 
the  battle  with  his  infantry.  ||    In  the  king's  army  there  were 

*  On  Thursday,  July  29,  1479. — Molinet,  ii.  200. 

f  Guinegatte,  a  small  village  in  the  department  of  the  Pas-de-Calais. 
The  battle  was  fought  on  the  7th  August,  1479.  A  detailed  account 
of  it  will  be  found  in  Molinet  (ii.  220.).  The  battle  of  the  Spurs  was 
fought  on  the  same  ground  between  the  English  aud  the  French  in 
1513.  —  See  Home,  ii.  589. 

J  Elsewhere  called  Thomas  D'  Orican  or  D'Aurican. 

§  Aire,  a  town  on  the  Lys,  in  the  department  of  the  Pas-de-Calais. 

||  Molinet  tells  several  stories  of  the  duke's  prowess  in  the  fight  He 
lays  that  "  he  charged  a  man  ai-arms  so  violently  that  he  broke  hit 


147y.]  BATTLE  OF  GUINEGASTE.  33 

about  eleven  hundred  men-at-arms  of  his  standing  forces. 
They  did  not  all  follow  the  chase,  but  the  Lord  des  Cordes, 
who  commanded  in  chief,  pursued,  and  Monsieur  de  Torcy 
with  him  ;  but  though  they  behaved  themselves  very  bravely, 
yet  it  is  not  the  duty  of  any  commanding  officer  to  follow  the 
pursuit.  Some  of  the  van-guard  and  rear-guard  retreated, 
under  pretence  of  defending  their  own  towns  ;  others  fled 
downright.  The  duke's  infantry  kept  their  ground,  though 
they  were  vigorously  attacked  ;  but  they  had  with  them  on 
foot  fully  two  hundred  gentlemen,  all  good  officers  and  brave 
men,  to  lead  them  ;  and  among  these  were  the  Count  de  Ro- 
mont,  a  son  of  the  house  of  Savoy,  the  Count  of  Nassau  *,  and 
several  others,  who  are  still  living  The  bravery  and  con- 
duct of  these  gentlemen  kept  the  whole  body  together,  which 
was  very  marvellous,  after  they  had  witnessed  the  defeat  of 
their  cavalry.  The  king's  Frank  archers  fell  to  plundering 
the  duke's  waggons,  and  all  that  attended  them,  sucli  as  sutlers 
and  others  ;  which  being  observed,  some  of  the  duke's  forces 
attacked  them,  and  cut  off  a  great  number  of  them.  On  the 
duke's  side  the  slaughter  was  greater,  and  more  prisoners 
were  taken  than  on  the  king's  side,  but  he  remained  master 
of  the  field  of  battle  ;  and  I  am  of  opinion,  that  if  he  had 
marched  back  immediately  to  Therouenne,  he  would  not  have 
met  with  the  least  opposition  either  there  or  at  Arras :  yet 
he  durst  not  venture  to  make  the  attempt,  which  proved 
highly  to  his  disadvantage  ;  but  in  such  cases  no  one  knows 
always  what  measures  are  best  to  be  taken ;  and  indeed  the 
duke  had  some  reason  to  fear.  I  speak  of  this  battle  only 
by  hearsay,  for  I  was  not  present  at  it ;  but  to  continue  my 
discourse,  I  found  it  necessary  to  mention  it. 

I  was  with  the  king  when  he  received  the  news  of  this 
defeat ;  he  was  extremely  concerned  at  it,  for  he  had  not 
been  used  to  lose,  but  had  been  so  successful  in  all  his  enter- 
prises, that  it  seemed  as  if  everything  turned  out  according 
to  his  pleasure.     Indeed,  to  speak  truth,  his  judgment  and 

lance  in  three  pieces  ;  after  which  he  knocked  down  a  Frank  archer  with 
a  stick  which  he  had  in  his  hand  ;  and,  finally,  he  took  prisoner  a  native 
of  Brittany  named  Alexander." 

*  Engelbert,  Count  of  Nassau  and  Vianden,  Knight  of  the  Golden 
Fleece,  and  Governor  of  Brabant.  He  was  chief  chamberlain  to  Duka 
Maximilian.    lie  died  in  1 504. 

VOL.  11-  D 


14  THE   MEMOIRS   OF   1'HILiP   DE   COMMINKS.  [1479 

penetration  in  state  affairs  contributed  very  much  to  his 
success:  for  be  would  never  risk  anything,  and  always  en- 
deavoured to  avoid  a  battle  ;  nor  was  this  fought  by  any 
positive  orders  from  him.  His  armies  were  always  so 
numerous,  that  few  princes  were  able  to  cope  with  him,  and 
he  had  a  larger  train  of  artillery  than  any  of  his  predecessors. 
His  method  was  to  assemble  his  troops  on  a  sudden,  and 
attack  those  places  that  were  ill  provided  and  slenderly 
fortified ;  and  when  he  had  taken  them,  he  immediately  put 
into  them  such  a  strong  garrison,  with  so  much  artillery, 
that  it  was  almost  impossible  to  retake  them ;  and  if  there 
were  any  officer  in  the  town  able  and  willing  to  betray  it  for 
money,  he  was  sure  to  have  the  king  for  a  customer,  and 
needed  not  to  be  afraid  to  demand  an  extravagant  sum ;  for, 
however  exorbitant,  his  majesty  would  certainly  have  paid 
it  rather  than  venture  a  battle,  or  undertake  a  siege.  He 
was  mightily  alarmed  at  the  first  news  of  this  battle,  suppos- 
ing he  had  lost  all,  and  that  they  durst  not  tell  him  the  whole 
truth ;  for  he  was  aware  that,  had  it  been  an  absolute  defeat, 
all  that  he  had  got  from  the  house  of  Burgundy  in  those 
marches  and  elsewhere,  would  certainly  have  been  lost,  or  at 
least  placed  in  very  great  danger.  However,  as  soon  as  he 
Avas  informed  of  the  whole  truth,  he  was  better  satisfied,  but 
gave  orders  that,  for  the  future,  no  battle  should  be  fought 
without  his  knowledge  and  consent ;  and  so  he  was  recon- 
ciled to  the  Lord  des  Cordes. 

From  this  very  hour  the  king  resolved  to  make  a  treaty  of 
peace  with  the  Duke  of  Austria,  but  to  manage  the  whole 
negotiation  purely  to  his  own  advantage;  and  so  to  curb  the 
duke  by  means  of  his  own  subjects  (who,  he  knew,  were 
desirous  to  clip  the  wings  of  his  authority),  that  it  should 
never  again  be  in  his  power  to  disturb  or  injure  him.  He 
was  likewise  very  desirous  to  make  some  new  regulations  in 
the  affairs  of  his  own  kingdom,  particularly  in  regard  to 
delays  in  processes  of  law,  in  order  thereby  to  control  the 
court  of  parliament ;  not  to  diminish  their  number  or  autho- 
rity; but  there  were  many  things  which  occasioned  his 
hatred  against  them.  He  was  also  desirous  to  establish  in 
his  kingdom  one  general  custom  as  to  weights  and  measures  ; 
and  that  all  the  laws  should  he  written  in  French,  in  one 
book,  60  as  to  prevent  the  frauds  and  prevarications  of  th« 


1479-]  TREATY    WITH    THE    DUKE   Ov    AUSTRIA.  33 

lawyers,  which  are  greater  in  France  than  in  any  other  nation 
in  Europe,  as  the  nobility  have  often  experienced  to  their 
cost.  And,  doubtless,  had  God  graciously  permitted  him  to 
live  five  or  six  years  longer,  without  being  too  much  affected 
by  disease,  he  would  have  done  much  good  to  his  kingdom; 
and  it  was  but  reasonable  he  should  do  so,  for  he  had  op- 
pressed and  tyrannised  over  his  subjects  more  than  all  his 
predecessors.  But  no  man's  authority  or  remonstrance  could 
persuade  him;  it  must  have  come  of  his  own  accord,  as  cer- 
tainly it  Would,  if  God  had  not  afflicted  him  with  sickness  : 
wherefore  it  is  best  to  do  good  while  we  have  time  and  God 
gives  us  health. 

The  treaty  which  the  king  designed  to  make  with  the 
Duke  of  Austria,  his  duchess,  and  their  dominions,  was,  by 
the  mediation  of  the  Gantois,  to  make  a  match  between  his 
son  the  Dauphin  (who  is  now  our  king)  and  the  daughter 
of  the  duke  and  duchess,  in  consideration  of  which  they 
should  give  him  the  counties  of  Burgundy,  Auxerroi-:, 
Maconnois,  and  Chai  olois  ;  and  in  exchange  he  would  restore 
to  them  the  province  of  Artois,  retaining  only  the  city  of 
Arras*,  in  the  same  posture  of  defence  as  he  had  put  it  iu^ 
for  the  town  was  of  no  importance  since  the  new  fortifica- 
tions had  been  added  to  the  city.  Before  Arras  fell  into  the 
king's  hands,  the  town  was  much  stronger  than  the  city, 
with  a  large  ditch  and  thick  walls  between  them ;  but  now 
the  city  was  in  a  much  better  posture  of  defence,  and  was 
held  of  the  king  by  the  bishop  of  the  place  ;  contrary  to  the 
practice  of  the  Dukes  of  Burgundy  (at  least  for  above  a 
hundred  years),  who  had  always  made  whom  they  pleased 
bishop,  and  put  in  a  governor  of  the  city  besides :  but  the 
king,  to  increase  his  authority,  proceeded  in  a  quite  different 
manner,  caused  the  town  walls  to  be  demolished,  and  new 
ones  to  be  raised  about  the  city,  which  before  (as  I  said) 
was  weaker  than  the  town,  with  great  ditches  betwixt  them  ; 
so  that  in  effect  the  king  gave  nothing  by  the  treaty;  for 
he  that  was  master  of  the  city  could  command  the  town  when 
he  pleased.  There  was  not  the  least  mention  made  of  the 
duchy  of  Burgundy,  the  county  of  Boulogne,  the  towns  upon 
the  Somme,  or  the  chastellanies  of  Peronne,  Roye,  and  Mon- 

*  These  projects  were  afterwards  realised  bj  tho  Treaty  of  Arra% 
toncluded  on  the  23rd  December,  1482. 

V  2 


36  THE   MEMOIRS    OF    PHILIP   DE    COMMINES.  [1479. 

didier.  Tlie  Gantois  were  extremely  pleased  with  these 
proposals,  and  behaved  themselves  very  disrespectfully  to 
the  Duke  and  Duchess  of  Austria;  and  some  of  the  other 
great  towns  in  Flanders  and  Brabant  were  equally  importu- 
nate, particularly  Brussels;  which  was  very  remarkable,  for 
Dukes  Philip  and  Charles  of  Burgundy  had  always  resided 
there,  and  the  Duke  and  Duchess  of  Austria  had  their  resi- 
dence there  at  that  very  time.  But  the  long  ease  and 
pleasures  that  they  had  enjoyed  under  the  above-mentioned 
princes,  made  them  so  far  forget  both  God  and  their  sove- 
reign, that  at  last  they  brought  down  misfortunes  upon  their 
heads,  and  occasioned  their  own  ruin,  as  you  shall  see. 


Cs.  VL — How  King  Louis  was  surprised  with  a  Malady  that  for  some 
time  took  away  the  Use  of  both  his  Senses  and  Tongue  ;  how  he 
recovered  and  relapsed  several  Tiroes,  and  how  he  kept  himself  in 
his  Castle  at  Plessisles  Tours. — 1479. 

In  the  year  1479,  in  the  month  of  March,  a  truce  was  con- 
cluded between  the  two  princes ;  and  the  king  was  very 
solicitous  for  a  peace,  especially  in  the  quarter  I  have  men- 
tioned, provided  that  it  proved  very  advantageous  for  his 
affairs.  He  began  now  to  decline  in  age,  and  to  be  subject 
to  infirmity ;  and  as  he  was  sitting  at  dinner  one  day  at 
Forges,  near  Chinon,  he  was  seized  on  a  sudden  with  a  fit 
that  took  away  his  speech.  Those  who  were  about  him  took 
him  from  the  table,  placed  him  near  the  fire,  and  shut  up  the 
windows ;  and  though  he  endeavoured  to  get  to  them  for  the 
benefit  of  the  air,  yet  some  of  them,  imagining  it  for  the  best, 
kept  him  away.  It  was  in  March,  1480,  when  this  fit  seized 
upon  him  after  this  manner,  which  deprived  him  of  his 
speech,  understanding,  and  memory.  As  soon  as  you  arrived, 
my  Lord  of  Vienne,  who  were  then  his  physician,  you  ordered 
him  a  clyster,  and  caused  the  windows  to  be  opened  to  give 
him  fresh  air,  and  he  came  to  himself  immediately,  recovered 
his  speech  and  his  senses  in  some  measure,  and  mounting  od 
horseback,  he  returned  to  Forges,  for  he  was  taken  with  this 
tt  in  a  small  village  about  a  quarter  of  a  league  off,  whither 


1*80.]  ILLNESS   OF   KING   LOUIS.  37 

he  had  gone  to  hear  mass.  He  was  diligently  attended,  and 
made  signs  for  everything  he  wanted  ;  among  other  things, 
he  desired  the  official  of  Tours  to  come  and  take  his  con- 
fession, and  made  signs  that  I  should  be  sent  for,  for  I  was 
gone  to  Argenton,  which  is  about  ten  leagues  off. 

Upon  my  return  I  found  him  at  table,  and  with  him 
Master  Adam  Fumee*  (pliysician  to  the  late  King  Charles, 
and  at  present  Master  of  the  Requests),  and  Master  Claude  f» 
another  physician.  He  made  signs  that  I  should  lie  in  his 
chamber;  he  understood  little  that  was  said  to  him,  and 
could  form  no  words ;  but  he  felt  no  manner  of  pain.  I 
waited  on  him  fifteen  days  J  at  table,  and  attended  on  his 
person  like  a  valet-de-chambre,  which  I  took  for  a  great 
honour,  and  it  gave  me  great  reputation.  At  the  end  of  two 
or  three  days  he  began  to  recover  his  speech  and  his  senses  ; 
and  he  fancied  no  one  understood  him  so  clearly  as  myself, 
and  therefore  would  have  me  always  to  attend  him.  He 
confessed  himself  to  the  official  in  my  presence,  for  other- 
wise they  could  not  have  understood  each  other.  There  was 
no  great  matter  in  his  confession,  for  he  had  confessed  a  few- 
days  before ;  because  whenever  the  kings  of  France  touch 
for  the  king's  evil,  they  confess  themselves  beforehand,  and 
he  never  missed  touching  once  every  week,  and  if  other 
princes  do  not  the  same,  I  think  they  are  highly  to  blame, 
for  there  are  always  great  numbers  of  sick  people  to  be 
touched.  As  soon  as  he  was  a  little  recovered,  he  began  to 
inquire  who  they  were  who  held  him  by  force  from  going  to 
the  window ;  and  being  told  their  names,  he  banished  them 
from  court,  took  away  their  employments  from  some  of  them, 
and  never  would  see  them  again.  From  some,  as  the  Lord 
de  Segre§,  and  Gilbert  de  Grassay,  Lord  of  Champeroux  ||, 

*  Adam  Fumee,  Knight,  Lord  of  Roches  St.  Qtientin  in  Touraine, 
councillor  of  the  king,  Master  of  Requests  in  the  royal  household,  and 
Commissioner  of  the  Great  Seal  of  France.  He  died  in  November, 
1494. — Anselme,  vi.  420. 

f  Claude  de  Molins,  physician  and  councillor  to  the  king. 

j  The  other  editions  erroneously  say  '•forty  days." 

§  Jacques  d'Espinay,  Lord  of  Segre  and  Usse,  and  captain  of  the 
town  of  Saint-Macaire,  was  the  son  of  Richard  d'Espinay,  one  of  the 
chamberlains  of  Francis  II.,  Duke  of  Bretagne.  He  was  afterwards 
appointed  one  of  the  councillors  and  chamberlains  of  King  Charles  VI1L 

U  See  Vol.  I.  p.  258. 

»  S 


38  THE  MKMOIKS    OF    PHILIP    DE    COMM1NES.  [1480. 

he  took   away  nothing,  but  banished   them  from  his  pre- 
tence. 

Many  wondered  at  this  caprice,  condemned  his  conduct, 
and  affirmed  they  had  done  what,  in  their  opinion,  they 
thought  for  the  best ;  and  they  spoke  the  truth ;  but  the 
imaginations  of  princes  are  ditferent,  and  all  those  who 
undertake  to  account  for  them  are  not  able  to  understand 
them.  He  was  afraid  of  nothing  so  much  as  of  the  loss  of 
his  regal  authority,  which  was  then  very  great  indeed  ;  and 
he  would  not  suffer  his  commands  to  be  disobeyed  in  the 
most  trivial  point.  On  the  other  hand,  he  remembered  that 
his  father,  King  Charles,  in  the  illness  of  which  he  died, 
believed  that  his  courtiers  intended  to  poison  him,  at  the 
request  of  his  son  ;  and  this  made  so  deep  an  impression 
upon  him,  that  he  refused  to  eat,  and  by  the  advice  of  his 
physicians,  and  of  his  chief  favourites,  it  was  concluded  he 
should  be  forced  to  eat ;  and  so,  after  great  deliberation,  they 
forced  soup  down  his  throat,  upon  which  violence  he  died. 
King  Louis,  who  had  always  condemned  that  proceeding, 
took  it  very  angrily  that  they  should  use  any  violence  with 
him  ;  and  yet  he  pretended  to  be  more  angry  than  he  was, 
for  the  great  matter  that  moved  him  was  an  apprehensioa 
that  they  would  attempt  to  govern  him  in  everything  else, 
and  pretend  he  was  unfit  for  the  administration  of  public 
affairs,  by  reason  of  the  imbecility  and  unsoundness  of  his 
senses. 

After  he  had  thus  severely  handled  the  persons  above- 
mentioned,  he  made  inquiry  into  what  had  been  done  in 
council,  and  what  orders  had  been  made  during  the  ten  or 
twelve  days  he  had  been  sick  ;  of  which  matters  the  Bishop 
of  Alby*,  his  brother  the  Governor  of  Burgundy  j",  the 
Marshal  de  GieJ,  and  the  Lord  du  Lude,  had  the  principal 
charge,  as  they  were  with  him  when  he  fell  ill,  and  all  lodged 
under  his  room,  in  two  little  chambers.  He  also  insisted  on 
seeing  all  letters  and  despatches  which  had  arrived,  and  those 
also  which  arrived  every  hour;  they  showed  him  the  most  im- 

*  Louis  d'Amboise,  Bishop  of  Alby,  was  the  son  of  Pierre  d'Am- 
boise,  Lord  of  Chaumont.  In  1480  he  was  appointed  the  king's  lieu- 
tenant-general  in  Burgundy  ;  and  he  died  in  1505. 

f  See  Voi.  I.  p.  34. 

X  S«*  Vol.  I.  p.  271. 


1480.]  SUPPOSED   DEATH    OK    THE    KINO.  39 

portant,  and  I  read  them  to  him.  He  would  pretend  to  under- 
stand them,  take  them  into  his  own  hand,  and  make  as  if  he 
were  reading  them  to  himself,  when  in  truth  he  did  not  un- 
derstand one  syllable  of  them.  Yet  he  would  offer  now  and 
then  a  word,  and  make  signs  what  answers  should  be  given  ; 
but  little  business  was  despatched  during  his  illness,  till  we 
could  see  what  would  be  the  event;  for  he  was  a  master 
with  whom  it  was  necessary  to  deal  straightforwardly. 
This  indisposition  continued  about  a  fortnight;  at  the  end  of 
which  he  recovered  his  speecdi  and  senses  pretty  well ;  but 
he  remained  very  weak,  and  in  great  fear  of  a  relapse,  for 
naturally  he  was  not  inclined  to  put  confidence  in  his  phy- 
sicians. 

As  soon  as  he  was  a  little  recovered,  he  released  Cardinal 
Balue  *,  whom  he  had  kept  a  prisoner  for  fourteen  f  years, 
though  the  Pope  and  other  princes  had  many  times  inter- 
ceded for  his  liberation ;  of  which  crime  he  was  absolved 
afterwards  by  an  express  bull  from  his  Holiness,  which  the 
king  had  earnestly  requested.  When  he  was  first  seized  with 
his  illness,  those  who  were  about  him  took  him  for  dead, 
and  orders  were  issued  for  remitting  an  excessive  and  cruel 
tax,  which,  at  the  instigation  of  the  Lord  des  Cordes  (his 
lieutenant  in  Picardy),  he  had  lately  laid  upon  his  subjects, 
for  raising  ten   thousand  foot  as  a  standing  force,  and  two 

*  The  order  for  the  cardinal's  deliverance  was  in  these  terms  : — "  My 
Lord  Chancellor, — After  dinner  assemble  the  whole  council,  and  deliver 
Cardinal  Balue  from  my  hands,  and  give  him  up  to  the  Archpresbyter  of 
Lodau,  in  the  name  of  the  Legate,  who  has  express  commission  from  our 
Holy  Father  to  receive  him  :  that  is  to  say,  I  give  him  into  the  hands 
of  our  Holy  Father,  or  to  the  Legate  for  him,  or  to  the  Archpresbyter 
for  the  Legate,  until  he  shall  come.  I  have  written  to  him  to  come  with 
all  haste,  and  accordingly  I  believe  he  will  be  at  Orleans  at  Christmas; 
whither  you  will  go,  as  well  as  the  greatest  personages  I  can  find,  to 
require  justice  at  his  hands.  Look  to  the  protestations  which  you  have 
to  make  after  dinner,  and  give  them  up  when  you  deliver  him.  And 
God  keep  you,  my  Lord  Chancellor.  Written  at  Flessis  du  Fare,  on 
the  20th  day  of  December,  1480." 

t  Cardinal  Balue  was  a  prisoner  for  eleven  years  only,  as  he  was 
arrested  in  April,  1469.  See  Vol.  I.  p.  165.  of  these  Memoirs.  Ik  was 
confined  in  an  iron  cage  of  his  own  invention,  in  which  it  was  impossi- 
ble for  him  to  stand  upright,  or  to  stretch  himself  at  length.  A  special 
cage  was  made  for  his  reception,  at  a  cost  of  sixty  livres. — DuroNT,  ii. 
817. 

D   A 


4.K.  THE    MEMOIRS    OF    PHILIP   DE    COMMINES.  [1481. 

thousand  five  hundred  pioneers,  who  were  to  be  called  the 
"  Gens  du  Champ  ;"  to  which  force  he  added  one  thousand 
five  hundred  men  at  arms,  of  his  old  standing  forces,  who 
were  to  fight  on  foot  upon  occasion,  among  the  rest; 
besides  which  he  caused  a  vast  number  of  tents  and  pa- 
vilions to  be  made,  and  wagons  to  inclose  all,  in  imita- 
tion of  the  army  of  the  Duke  of  Burgundy ;  and  this 
camp  cost  him  fifteen  hundred  thousand  francs  a  year.* 
When  it  was  ready  he  went  to  review  it,  in  a  lar^e 
plain  near  Pont  de  l'Arche  in  Normandy.  In  this  camp 
there  were  the  six  thousand  Swiss  I  mentioned  before,  and 
this  number  he  never  saw  but  this  once.  From  thence 
he  returned  to  Tours,  where  he  was  taken  with  a  new  fit, 
and  lost  his  speech  again,  and  for  two  hours  everybody 
thought  him  dead  ;  he  lay  upon  a  straw- bed  in  a  gallery,  with 
several  people  about  him:  the  Lord  du  Bouchage  and  I  de- 
voutly recommended  him  to  St.  Claude,  and  all  that  were 
present  concurred  with  our  prayers  ;  and  immediately  he 
recovered  his  speech,  and  walked  up  and  down  the  house, 
but  he  was  very  weak  and  feeble  ;  and  this  second  fit  took 
him  in  1481.  He  still  went  into  the  country  as  formerly, 
and  particularly  with  me  to  Argentonf ,  where  he  continued 
a  month,  and  was  very  ill ;  from  thence  he  went  to  Thouars, 
where  he  was  also  very  sick  ;  and  he  then  undertook  a  journey 
to  St.  Claude,  to  whom  we  had  recommended  him,  as  you 

*  This  armament  awakened  the  suspicions  of  the  King  of  England, 
as  is  proved  by  the  following  letter  from  Louis  XI.  to  Lord  Hastings: 
— "  My  good  cousin, — I  have  been  informed  by  some  merchants  of  Nor- 
mandy just  returned  from  England,  that  there  is  a  report  in  your  coun- 
try that  I  was  at  Boulogne,  and  intended  to  lay  siege  to  Calais.  My 
good  cousin,  as  this  matter  affects  me  and  my  honour,  I  beg  you  to  be  so 
good  as  to  tell  my  cousin  your  king,  that  I  have  no  such  thought,  nor 
will  I  do  or  suffer  any  damage  to  the  smallest  village  in  the  territory  of 
Calais,  and  if  any  one  should  attempt  to  injure  it,  I  would  defend  it 
to  the  best  of  my  power.  And  I  did  not  go  from  Plessis  du  Pare 
until  the  26th  day  of  May  ;  but  I  am  going  to  see  my  camp  at  Pont  de 
l'Arche,  which  I  have  not  yet  seen;  and  I  have  ordered  the  Lord  de9 
Cordes  and  the  Picards  to  be  there  at  the  end  of  this  month  ;  and  I 
assure  you  that  this  is  the  truth,  and  my  cousin  the  king  shall  find  no 
departure  from  what  I  have  promised  him." — Dufont,  ii.  219. 

f  He  was  at  Argenton  in  November,  1481  ;  at  Thouars  in  the 
months  of  January  aud  February  following  ;  and  at  Saint-Claude  in 
ApriL 


1481.]  DEATH    OF    THE    DUCHESS    OF    AUSTRIA.  41 

have  already  heard.  At  his  departure  from  Thouars  he  sent 
me  into  Savoy,  to  oppose  the  Lords  de  la  Chambre*,  Mio- 
lansf,  and  Bresse  (though  he  was  privately  their  friend), 
for  having  seized  upon  the  person  of  the  Lord  de  LuyJ  in 
Dauphiny,  whom  he  had  recommended  to  be  governor  to  his 
nephew,  Duke  Philibert.  He  sent  a  considerable  body  of 
troops  §  after  me,  whom  I  led  to  Macon  against  Monsieur  de 
Bresse  ;  however,  he  and  I  were  agreed  underhand.  Having 
taken  the  Lord  de  la  Chambre  ||  in  bed  with  the  Duke  of 
Savoy  at  Turin,  in  Piedmont,  he  gave  m^  notice  of  it,  and  I 
caused  our  soldiers  to  retire ;  for  he  brought  the  Duke  of 
Savoy  to  Grenoble,  where  the  Marshal  of  Burgundy,  the 
Marquis  de  Rothelin,  and  myself,  went  to  receive  and  com- 
pliment his  highness.  The  king  sent  for  me  to  meet  him  at 
Beaujeu,  in  Beaujolois.  I  was  amazed  to  find  him  so  thin  and 
weak,  and  wondered  how  he  had  strength  enough  to  bear  the 
fatigue  of  travelling  as  he  did  ;  but  his  great  spirit  carried 
him  through  all  difficulties. 

At  Beaujeu  he  received  advice  that  the  Duchess  of  Austria 
was  dead  of  a  fall  from  her  horse.  She  had  been  set  upon  a 
hot-headed  young  nag,  that  threw  her  down  against  a  piece 
of  timber,  which  was  the  occasion  of  her  death.  Others  said 
she  died  of  a  fever,  not  of  her  fall ;  but  be  it  as  it  may,  she 
died  not  many  days  after,  to  the  great  detriment  of  her  friends 
and  subjects  ;  for  after  her  death  they  never  had  peace  or 
prosperity.  The  people  of  Ghent  and  other  towns  had  a 
greater  love  and  respect  for  her  than  her  husband,  as  she 
was  their  natural  sovereign.     This  misfortune  happened  in 

*  Louis,  Count  of  La  Chambre  and  Leville,  and  Viscount  of  Mau- 
rienne,  in  Savoy. 

■}•  Louis  de  Myolans,  appointed  Marshal  of  Savoy  in  1478. 

I  Philibert  de  Grolee,  Knight,  Lord  of  Huis,  councillor  and  chamber- 
lain of  Louis  XL,  and  Governor  of  Lyons. 

§  Two  hundred  Frank  archers  of  the  King's  guard. 

||  "  The  Count  de  Bresse,  being  informed  of  the  king's  intention, 
proceeded  to  Turin  at  daybreak  on  the  day  before  St.  Sebastian's  day, 
the  19th  of  January,  1480,  accompanied  by  Thomas  de  Saluces,  brother 
of  the  marquis.  They  entered  the  Castle  of  Turin,  and  went  into  the 
duke's  bed  chamber,  where  the  Count  de  la  Chambre  was  sleeping  ; 
whom  Thomas  de  Saluces,  by  command  of  the  Count  de  Bresse,  seized 
laying,  'You  are  prisoner  of  the  King  of  France}'  and  he  had  hin. 
pat  in  prison." — Gikcbekou,  ii.  42. 


42  THE    MEMOIRS    OF    PHILIP    DE    COMMIXES.  "1482, 

the  year  1482.*  The  king  told  me  the  news  with  a  great 
deal  of  joy  and  satisfaction  ;  being  extremely  pleased  that  the 
two  children')"  were  under  the  tutelage  of  the  Gantois,  who 
(he  knew)  were  inclined  to  any  mischief  that  might  weaken 
the  power  of  the  house  of  Burgundy;  and  now  he  thought 
this  was  the  time  to  attempt  something,  because  the  Duke  of 
Austria  was  young,  with  his  father  still  living,  involved  in 
war  on  every  side,  a  stranger,  and  his  forces  very  weak, 
because  of  the  covetous  temper  of  his  father  the  emperor. 

From  that  time  the  king  began  to  deal  with  the  Gantois 
by  means  of  his  agent  the  Lord  des  Cordes,  about  the  mar- 
riage of  his  son  the  dauphin  with  the  Lady  Margaret,  the 
duke's  daughter,  who  is  at  present  our  queen.  The  Lord 
des  Cordes  applied  himself  in  this  affair  to  one  AVilliam 
Ryn  $,  pensionary  of  the  town  (a  cunning,  subtle  man),  and 
to  Coppenol  §,  the  town-clerk,  who  was  a  hosier,  and  a 
person  of  gi'eat  reputation  among  the  people,  who,  in  times 
of  trouble,  are  soonest  wrought  upon  by  such  folk. 

The  king  returned  to  Tours,  and  kept  himself  so  close, 
that  very  few  were  admitted  to  see  him  ;  for  he  was  grown 
marvellously  jealous  of  all  his  courtiers,  and  afraid  they 
would  either  depose  him,  or  deprive  him  of  some  part  of  his 
authority.  ||     He  removed  from  about  him  all  his  old  servants, 

*  On  the  27th  of  March.  Her  feminine  delicacy  was  so  great,  that 
she  preferred  to  die  rather  than  allow  a  surgeon  to  examine  her 
wounds. 

t  Margaret  and  Philip.     See  pp.  16,  17. 

j  William  Kyn,  appointed  tenth  echevin  of  Ghent  in  1476,  and 
town  councillor  in  1482  ;  beheaded  on  the  8th  of  August,  1484. 

§  John  Coppenolle,  a  hosier  of  Ghent,  "a  man  of  no  better  condi- 
tion than  William  Ryn,  and  nevertheless  appointed  steward  to  the  king 
of  France,  with  a  pension  of  six  hundred  francs  a  year."  He  was  be- 
headed at  Ghent  on  the  11th  of  August,  1491. 

||  "  He  immured  himself,"  says  Sir  Walter  Scott,  "  in  his  castle  of 
Plessis,  intrusting  his  person  to  the  doubtful  faith  of  his  Scottish  mer- 
cenaries. He  never  stirred  from  his  chamber ;  he  admitted  no  one  into 
it  ;  and  wearied  Heaven  and  every  saint  with  prayers,  not  for  the  for- 
giveness of  his  sins,  but  for  the  prolongation  of  his  life.  With  a  poverty 
of  spirit  totally  inconsistent  with  his  shrewd  worldly  sagacity,  he  im- 
portuned his  physicians,  until  they  insulted  as  well  as  plundered  him. 
B  idily  health  and  terrestrial  felicity  seemed  to  be  his  only  object.  Mak- 
ing any  mention  of  his  sins  when  talking  on  the  state  of  his  health 
was  strictly  prohibited  ;  and  when  at  his  command,   a  priest  recited  a 


M82.]  policy  of  ciiarles  vn.  43 

especially  if  they  had  nny  extraordinary  familiarity  with  iiiin  ; 
but  lie  took  nothing  from  them,  and  only  commanded  them 
to  retire  to  their  posts  or  country  seats:  but  this  lasted  not 
kmg,  for  he  died  soon  after.  He  did  many  odd  things,  which 
made  some  believe  his  senses  were  impaired  ;  but  they  knew 
not  his  character.  As  to  his  suspicion,  all  princes  are  prone 
to  it ;  especially  those  who  are  wise,  and  who  have  many 
enemies,  and  have  offended  many  people,  as  our  master  had 
done.  Besides,  he  knew  he  was  not  beloved  by  the  nobility 
of  the  kingdom,  nor  by  many  of  the  commons;  for  he  had 
taxed  them  more  than  any  of  his  predecessors,  though  he 
now  had  some  thoughts  of  easing  their  burdens,  as  1  said 
before  ;  but  he  should  have  begun  sooner.  King  Charles  VII. 
was  the  first  prince  who  (by  the  assistance  of  several  wise 
and  good  knights,  who  had  served  him  in  the  expulsion  of 
the  English  out  of  Normandy  and  Guienne)  gained  that  point 
of  laying  taxes  upon  the  country  at  his  pleasure,  without  the 
consent  of  the  three  Estates  of  the  kingdom  ;  but  then  his 
occasions  were  great,  as  it  was  indispensable  to  secure  his 
new  conquests,  and  to  disperse  the  free  companies  who  were 
pillaging  the  kingdom.  Upon  which  the  great  lords  of 
France  consented  to  what  the  king  proposed,  upon  promise 
of  certain  pensions  in  lieu  of  the  taxes  which  were  to  be 
levied  upon  them. 

Had  this  king  lived  long,  and  kept  with  him  those  who  were 
then  of  his  council,  without  dispute  he  would  by  this  time 
have  enlarged  his  dominions  very  considerably;  but,  consi- 
dering what  has  already  occurred,  and  what  is  likely  to  follow 
upon  it,  he  has  laid  a  great  load  both  upon  his  own  soul, 
and  the  souls  of  his  successors,  and  has  given  his  kingdom 
a  cruel  wound,  which  will  bleed  a  lonjj;  time  ;  namely,  by 
establishing  a  terrible  band  of  paid  soldiers,  in  imitation  of 
the  princes  of  Italy.  King  Charles  at  his  death  had  laid 
taxes  upon  all  things  in  his  kingdom,  amounting  to  one 
million  eight  hundred  thousand  francs,  and  maintained  about 

prayer  to  St.  Eutropius,  in  which  he  recommended  the  kind's  welfare 
both  in  body  and  soul,  Louis  caused  the  two  last  words  to  be  omitted; 
(dying  it  was  not  prudent  to  importune  the  blessed  saint  by  too  many 
requests  at  once.  Perhaps  bethought,  by  being  silent  on  his  crimes,  he 
Blight  sutt'er  them  to  pass  out  of  the  recollection  of  his  celestial  patrons, 
whose  aid  he  invoked  for  his  body." 


44  THE    MEMOIRS    OF   PHILIP    DE    COMMINE9.  [1482. 

one  thousand  seven  hundred  men  at  arms,  constantly  in  pay, 
and  in  the  nature  of  guards,  to  preserve  the  peace,  and 
secure  the  provinces  of  the  kingdom  ;  by  which  means,  for  a 
long  while  before  his  death,  there  was  no  free  quarter,  nor 
riding  up  and  down  the  country,  which  was  a  great  ease 
to  the  people.  At  the  death  of  our  master,  he  raised  an- 
nually four  million  seven  hundred  thousand  francs  ;  and 
had  about  four  or  five  thousand  men  at  arms,  and  above 
twenty-five  thousand  foot  soldiers  ;  so  that  it  is  no  wonder 
if  he  entertained  such  jealousies  and  fears  of  his  subjects, 
and  fancied  he  was  not  beloved  by  them.  Yet  he  made 
one  very  great  mistake :  he  had  no  confidence  in  those 
who  had  been  brought  up  and  received  their  preferments 
under  him  ;  of  whom  he  might  have  found  many  that  would 
have  died  before  they  would  have  forsaken  him  in  anything. 
In  the  first  place,  nobody  was  admitted  into  the  Plessis 
du  Pare  (which  was  the  place  where  he  resided)  but  his 
domestic  servants  and  his  archers,  who  were  in  number 
four  hundred,  some  of  whom  kept  constant  guard  at  the 
gate,  while  others  patrolled  continually  about  to  prevent  its 
being  surprised.  No  lord  nor  person  of  quality  was  per- 
mitted to  lodge  in  the  castle,  nor  to  enter  with  any  of  his 
retinue ;  nor,  indeed,  were  any  of  them  admitted  but  the 
Lord  de  Beaujeu,  the  present  Duke  of  Bourbon,  who  was 
his  son-in-law.  Round  about  the  castle  of  Plessis  he  caused 
a  lattice  of  iron  bars  to  be  set  up,  and  spikes  of  iron  to  be 
planted  in  the  wall,  with  several  points  projecting  along  the 
ditch,  wherever  there  was  a  possibility  for  any  person  to 
enter.  Besides  which,  he  caused  four  watch-houses  to  be 
made  of  thick  iron  and  pierced  with  holes,  out  of  which  his 
archers  might  shoot  at  their  pleasure  ;  and  these  were  a  very 
clever  invention  and  cost  above  twenty  thousand  francs ;  in 
them  he  placed  twenty  of  his  crossbow  men,  who  were  upon 
guard  night  and  day,  with  orders  to  fire  upon  any  man  that 
ventured  to  come  near,  before  the  opening  of  the  gate  in  the 
morning.  He  also  persuaded  himself  that  his  subjects 
would  be  apt  to  divest  him  of  his  power,  and  take  the  ad- 
ministration of  affairs  upon  themselves,  when  they  saw  their 
opportunity  ;  and,  indeed,  there  were  some  persons  about 
the  court  that  consulted  together  how  they  might  get  into 
the  Plessis,  and  despatch  affairs  according  to  their  own 
wishes;  but   they   durst   not   attempt   it,   and   they   acted 


1482.]  TREATY  OF  ARRAS.  45 

wisely,  for  the  king  had  provided  against  every  attack.  He 
often  changed  his  bed-chamber  attendants,  and  all  the  rest 
of  his  servants,  alleging  that  nothing  was  more  agreeable  to 
nature  than  novelty.  For  conversation  he  kept  only  one  or 
two  with  him,  and  those  of  inferior  condition,  and  of  no  great 
reputation;  who,  if  they  had  been  wise,  would  have  clearly 
seen  that  as  soon  as  he  was  dead,  the  best  they  could  expect 
would  be  to  be  turned  out  of  all  their  employments  ;  and  so 
it  happened.  Those  persons  never  acquainted  him  with 
anything  that  was  sent  or  written  to  him,  unless  it  concerned 
the  preservation  of  the  State,  or  the  defence  of  the  kingdom  ; 
for  he  concerned  not  himself  for  anything,  but  to  live  quietly 
and  peaceably  with  all  men.  He  gave  his  physician  *  ten 
thousand  crowns  a  month,  and  within  the  space  of  five 
months  he  received  of  his  majesty  above  fifty-four  thousand. 
He  also  gave  large  estates  to  the  church  ;  but  this  gift  was 
never  ratified,  for  the  church  was  thought  to  have  too  much 
already. 

A  Treaty  between  Louis  XI.  of  France,  and  Maximilian 
Duke  of  Austria,  as  well  for  himself  as  his  Children, 
made  at  Arras,  December  23.  1482. 

1.  There  shall  be  a  perpetual  peace,  union,  and  alliance 
between  the  king,  dauphin,  and  kingdom,  their  countries,  terri- 
tories, and  subjects  on  the  one  part ;  and  Duke  Maximilian  of 
Austria,  Duke  Philip,  and  the  Lady  Margaret  of  Austria, 
his  children,  their  countries,  territories,  and  subjects,  on  the 
other;  laying  aside  all  rancour  and  enmity  towards  one 
another,  and  any  or  all  manner  of  injuries,  either  in  word 
or  deed. 

2.  For  the  more  firm  establishing  of  the  peace,  a  treaty  of 
marriage  is  agreed  to  between  the  dauphin,  the  king's  son 
and  heir-apparent  to  the  crown,  and  the  Lady  Margaret 
of  Austria,  only  daughter  of  the  said  duke,  and  of  the 
late  Mary  of  Burgundy,  only  daughter  of  Duke  Charles  of 
Burgundy,  to  be  solemnised  when  the  said  lady  shall  be  of 
fit  age. 

3.  As  soon  as  the  peace  is  proclaimed,  the  said  lady  shall 

•  His  physician  in  ordinary  was  named  Jacques  Coitier.  He  also 
held  the  office  of  Vice  President  of  the  Cham bre  des  Comptes,  of  which 
he  became  President  in  1482.     He  died  on  the  29th  of  October.  1506. 


eSi  THE    MEMOIRS   OF   PHILIP   DE    COMMIXES.  [1482 

forthwith  be  conducted  to  Arras,  and  be  put  into  the  hands 
of  Monsieur  de  Beaujeu,  or  another  prince  of  the  blood 
authorised  by  the  king  for  that  purpose  ;  and  the  king  shall 
take  care  to  bring  her  up  as  his  eldest  daughter,  the  wife  of 
the  said  dauphin 

4.  Upon  the  delivery  of  the  said  lady,  Monsieur  de  Beau- 
jeu shall  swear  solemnly,  in  the  presence  of  the  princes  and 
lords  who  shall  conduct  her,  in  the  king's  name,  that  the 
dauphin,  when  she  comes  of  age,  shall  take  her  in  marriage, 
and  proceed  to  the  consummation  of  the  same. 

5.  The  like  oath  Monsieur  de  Beaujeu  shall  take  in  the 
name  of  the  dauphin,  being  authorised  thereunto  by  the 
king,  upon  tiie  account  of  his  youth. 

6.  In  consideration  of  this  marriage,  the  Duke  of  Austria 
and  the  states  of  his  country,  agree  in  their  own  names,  and 
in  that  of  Duke  Philip,  that  the  countries  of  Artois,  Bur- 
gundy, the  lands  and  signories  of  Maconnois,  Auxerrois, 
Salins,  Bar-sur-Seine,  and  Noyers,  shall  be  given  in  dower 
with  her  to  the  dauphin,  to  be  enjoyed  by  them,  their  heirs 
by  that  marriage,  whether  male  or  female,  for  ever  ;  but  in 
failure  thereof,  to  return  to  Duke  Philip  and  his  heirs.  And 
seeing  these  countries,  and  the  greatest  part  of  the  province 
of  Artois,  are  at  present  in  the  king's  possession,  it  is  agreed 
they  shall  be  the  dowry  and  inheritance  of  the  said  lady, 
to  be  enjoyed  by  the  dauphin  her  intended  husband,  and 
her  heirs.  But  in  case  those  countries  should  come  into  any 
other  hands  than  those  of  the  dauphin  and  the  issue 
of  this  marriage,  the  king,  dauphin,  and  their  successors, 
kings  of  France,  may  in  that  case  retain  the  said  counties 
of  Artois  and  Burgundy,  with  the  other  signories,  till  the 
king's  pretensions  to  Lisle,  Douay,  and  Orchies  are  deter- 
mined. And  in  case  they  are  not  adjudged  to  return  to 
him,  he  and  his  successors  shall  pretend  no  right  to  them  ; 
but  the  earls  and  countesses  of  Flanders  shall  enjoy  them 
as  formerly.  Moreover,  as  soon  as  the  said  lady  shall  arrive 
at  Arras,  she  shall  be  there  received  and  declared  Countess 
of  Artois  and  Burgundy,  and  lady  of  the  other  territories. 

7.  From  thenceforward  the  said  county  of  Artois,  except 
the  castle  and  bailiwick  of  St.  Omer,  shall  be  governed  ac- 
cording to  its  ancient  rights  and  privileges,  as  well  the  cities 
as  the  oren  country,  by  and  in  the  name  of  the  dauphip 


1482.]  TREATY  OF  ARRAS.  47 

her  future  husband  ;  and  the  domain  and  revenue,  with  the 
administration  of  justice,  and  other  privileges,  shall  appertain 
to  him. 

8  The  same  thing  shall  be  done  in  respect  to  the  county 
of  Burgundy  and  the  other  signories. 

9.  The  king,  at  the  request  of  the  said  duke  and  states,  shall 
restore  Arms  to  its  ancient  government,  under  the  admini- 
stration of  the  dauphin,  by  appointing  officers  for  that  pur- 
pose ;  the  king  is  content  that  the  dauphin  shall  do  so. 

10.  As  to  the  town,  castle,  and  bailiwick  of  St.  Omer 
(which  is  in  the  province  of  Artois),  it  is  comprehended 
with  the  said  county  of  Artois  in  the  dower  or'  the  said 
Lady  Margaret,  and  so  shall  be  forth witli  delivered  into  the 
possession  of  the  dauphin,  upon  the  completing  and  consum- 
mation of  the  marriage  with  her. 

11.  The  guarding  and  government  of  the  said  town, 
castle,  and  bailiwick  from  henceforward  is  to  be  put  into  the 
hands  of  the  inhabitants,  in  order  to  be  given  up  to  the 
dauphin  upon  the  consummation  of  his  marriage  ;  and  they 
shall  make  solemn  oath  before  the  king  or  his  commissioners, 
that  during  the  minority  of  the  lady  they  will  not  deliver 
them  up  to  the  Duke  of  Austria,  Duke  Philip,  or  their  agents. 

12.  The  like  oath  shall  be  taken  by  them  to  the  Duke  of 
Austria,  that  they  shall  not  deliver  them  up  to  the  king, 
dauphin,  or  their  agents,  during  the  minority,  and  till  the 
consummation  of  the  marriage. 

13.  For  the  better  support  of  the  town,  the  domain 
thereof,  &c,  shall  be  applied  towards  it  during  the  mi- 
nority ;  neither  shall  the  town  and  bailiwick  pay  the  tax 
called  the  Ordinary  Aid  of  Artois. 

14.  As  to  the  appointing  of  officers,  such  as  bailiff,  &c, 
the  duke,  as  father  of  the  lady,  shall  have  the  nomination 
during  the  said  time,  and  the  dauphin,  as  her  intended  hus- 
band, the  institution  :  but  if  the  said  lady  should  happen  to 
die  before  the  consummation  of  the  marriage,  the  inhabitants 
shall  restore  the  town,  with  its  appendages,  to  the  Duke  of 
Austria,  and  Duke  Philip,  his  son,  or  successors. 

15  The  privileges  of  the  town  shall  be  maintained,  and 
justice  administered  in  the  same  manner  as  formerly  ;  and 
the  estates  of  the  place  shall  take  care  to  provide  lor  the 
guard  of  it. 


48  THE   MEMOIRS   OF    PHILIP    DE    COMMINES.  [1482. 

16.  As  to  the  neighbouring  forts  and  castles,  the  lords  of 
them  shall  bind  themselves  not  to  Injure,  but  to  assist  them 
in  defence  of  the  same. 

17.  If  a  war  should  break  out  between  the  kins  and  the 
duke,  they  shall  not  intermeddle,  or  receive  a  garrison  from 
either. 

18.  It  shall  be  free  for  the  inhabitants  of  all  conditions  to 
go  and  traffic,  or  otherwise,  into  France,  or  the  dominions 
of  the  Duke  of  Austria,  and  other  neighbouring  kingdoms 
and  countries. 

19.  Upon  the  surrendering  of  the  town  to  the  dauphin 
and  the  Lady  Margaret,  upon  their  marriage,  those  princes 
shall  make  oath  to  maintain  it,  as  a  member  of  the  county 
of  Artois,  and  the  county  of  Artois,  in  all  its  privileges,  as 
their  predecessors  the  counts  and  countesses  of  Artois  have 
done,  without  innovation  in  the  government  there. 

20.  The  king  resigns  the  provision  made  for  the  town 
by  the  late  Duchess  of  Austria,  and  the  duke  her  husband, 
for  the  discharge  of  the  debts  and  rents  due  from  it. 

21.  The  king  and  the  dauphin  oblige  themselves  to  pay 
the  debts  contracted  by  the  duchess,  the  Duke  of  Burgundy 
her  father,  and  their  other  predecessors,  by  mortgaging  the 
revenues  of  the  said  county. 

22.  The  yearly  pensions  assigned  by  the  duchess,  Duke. 
Charles,  &c,  upon  the  domain  of  the  said  counties  and 
signories  of  Burgundy  and  Artois,  shall  be  continued. 

23.  In  consideration  of  this  lady's  dowry,  the  king  and 
dauphin  renounce  all  claims  and  pretensions  upon  the 
duchies,  counties,  goods,  moveables  and  immoveables  what- 
soever, remaining  after  the  death  of  the  duchess,  the  lady's 
mother. 

24.  In  case,  upon  the  account  of  death,  or  otherwise,  the 
said  marriage  should  not  be  consummated,  the  dowers,  and 
the  said  counties  and  signories  shall  be  restored  to  the  Duke 
of  Austria ;  but  at  the  same  time  with  a  salvo  to  the  kind's 
pretensions  to  the  towns  and  chastellanies  of  Lisle,  Douay, 
and  Orchies. 

25.  If,  after  the  consummation  of  the  marriage,  the 
dauphin  should  die  (whether  he  leaves  children  or  not  by 
the  said  lady),  she  shall  enjoy  the  counties  of  Artois  and 
Burgundy  as  her  portion,  and  withal  fifty  thousand  livres  of 


1482.]  TREATY  OF  AKUAS.  49 

Tournay  yearly  as  dower,  assigned  to  her  in   Champagne, 
Berry,  and  Touraine. 

26.  If  she  should  happen  to  die  before  the  Dauphin,  the 
children  shall  succeed  in  those  territories  that  are  her  portion; 
and  in  case  there  are  no  children,  they  shall  revert  to  the 
next  heirs. 

27.  Neither  the  King  nor  Dauphin  shall,  during  the  mi- 
nority of  Duke  Philip,  claim  to  have  the  government  of 
the  said  countries  of  Brabant,  Flanders,  &c,  but  shall  leave 
them  in  the  condition  they  are  now  in. 

28.  If  Duke  Philip  should  die  under  age,  and  the  said 
lady  becomes  his  heir,  the  King  and  Dauphin  shall  agree 
that  the  government  of  the  said  countries  shall  continue  upon 
the  same  footing. 

29.  In  case  Duke  Philip  die  without  issue  of  his  body,  and 
that  his  dominions  fall  to  his  sister  and  her  heirs,  who  shall 
also  be  heirs  to  the  crown  of  France,  the  King  and  the 
Dauphin  shall  engage  that  the  said  countries  shall  be  main- 
tained in  all  their  ancient  rights  and  privileges. 

30.  The  King's  sovereignty  over  the  country  of  Flanders 
is  acknowledged  by  the  Duke  and  the  States,  and  Duke 
Philip,  when  he  comes  of  age,  shall  do  homage  for  the  same 
in  the  usual  form. 

31.  The  King  confirms  all  the  ancient  and  modern  pri- 
vileges of  the  three  members  of  Flanders,  and  particularly 
the  towns  and  corporations  of  the  country  of  Flanders,  the 
towns  and  chatellanies  of  Lisle,  Douay,  and  St.  Omer. 

32.  The  inhabitants  of  Antwerp  shall  also  have  their 
privileges  maintained. 

33.  Customs  and  tolls  shall  be  paid  as  usual. 

34.  Margaret,  Duchess  of  Burgundy,  widow  of  the  late 
Duke  Charles,  is  comprehended  in  this  treaty,  and  she  shall 
have  the  full  enjoyment  of  the  lands  of  Chaussins  and  La 
Pierriere,  upon  the  repaying  of  twenty  thousand  crowns  in 
gold  to  the  country  of  Burgundy ;  and  in  case,  by  the  death 
of  the  young  duke,  those  countries  should  come  into  the 
hands  of  France,  she  shall  be  maintained  fully  in  her  dower, 
and  find  all  kind  assistance,  as  a  cousin  and  relation,  from 
the  King  and  Dauphin. 

35.  A  general  act  of  indemnity  is  agreed  to  on  both 
sides,  in  as  ample  manner  as  could  be  desired  by  offenders. 

VOL.   IL  S 


W)  THE    MEMOIRS    OF    PHILIP   DE    COMMIXES.  [1482. 

36.  The  subjects  and  adherents  of  botli  parties  shall  be 
reinstated  in  their  dignities,  benefices,  fiefs,  lands,  sig- 
niories,  and  other  inheritances,  rents,  &c,  without  being 
called  in  question  for  any  thing  that  happened  during  the 
war,  and  notwithstanding  any  declarations,  confiscations,  and 
arrests,  to  the  contrary  whatsoever. 

37.  If  the  inheritances  of  any  persons  who  followed  the 
fortune  of  the  adverse  party  have  been  sold  in  court  for  the 
payment  of  their  debts,  they  shall  forthwith  re-enter  upon 
the  peace,  and  pay  their  debts  within  a  year  after ;  if  not, 
the  order  of  court  shall  stand. 

38.  In  case  the  debts  were  purely  personal,  for  which  the 
inheritance  of  the  followers  of  the  opposite  party  have  been 
sold,  the  debtor  shall  return  to  his  inheritance,  without 
making  any  compensation  to  the  purchaser. 

39.  The  subjects  on  both  sides  shall  return  to  the  pos» 
session  of  their  immoveable  goods,  as  well  before  the  troubles 
begun  in  Duke  Charles's  time,  as  after. 

40.  As  to  the  profits  and  income  of  estates,  which  have 
been  levied  by  the  commanders  of  the  respective  parties, 
those  that  received  them  shall  never  be  accountable  for 
them,  and  no  prosecution  in  law,  upon  that  account,  shall 
take  effect  against  them. 

41.  All  personal  debts  granted  by  the  princes,  or  pur- 
suant to  their  order,  shall  be  theirs  who  had  the  grant  of 
them.  As  to  all  other  moveables  in  being  upon  the  peace, 
they  shall  belong  to  those  that  had  them  before  the  war, 
without  any  molestation  or  any  impediment  whatsoever. 

42.  The  town  of  St.  Oiner  and  its  dependencies,  are  fully 
discharged  of  all  rewards,  remissions,  &c,  which  have  been 
granted  them. 

43.  The  Duke  of  Austria  and  his  children  are,  by  this 
treaty,  fully  discharged  of  all  debts  they  may  owe  to  those 
who  adhered  to  the  contrary  party,  and  they  and  their 
descendants  shall  never  be  molested  for  them. 

44.  Upon  returning  to  their  possessions,  nobody  shall 
take  any  oath  to  the  prince  or  lord  under  whom  the  said 
possessions  are,  saving  vassals  and  feoffees. 

45.  The  widow  of  the  late  Peter  of  Luxemburg,  and  the 
ladies  Mary  and  Frances,  her  daughters,  shall  be  restored 
to  their  estates,  as  well  thuse  which  they  enjoyed  in  the 


1 482.  J  TREATY   OF    ARRAS.  51 

lifetime  of  Lewis  de  Luxemburg,  Count  of  St.  Paul,  Madame 
Jane  de  Bar  his  wife,  and  John  de  Luxemburg,  Count  of 
Marie,  their  eldest  son.  In  like  manner,  Monsieur  de  Croy, 
Count  of  Porcien,  is  restored  particularly  to  the  County  of 
Porcien,  the  granaries  belonging  to  the  castle  of  Cambarsay, 
Montcornet,  and  other  appanages,  in  the  signiory  of  Bar- 
eur-Aube,  and  other  places  in  Picardy. 

46.  The  King  shall  favour  the  Count  de  Romont,  in  his 
pretensions  to  the  county  of  Romont,  and  the  county  of 
Vaux ;  and  as  for  the  Princes  and  Princesses  of  Orange, 
the  Count  of  Joigny,  Liepart  de  Chalon,  the  Lord  of  Lorme, 
Messieurs  William  de  la  Beaume,  Du  Lain,  Claude  de  Tou- 
longeon,  and  the  Sieur  de  la  Bastie,  they  are  comprehended 
in  this  peace,  and  shall  be  re-instated. 

47.  In  like  manner,  the  monks  of  Anchin  are  restored  to 
their  abbey ;  so  are  those  of  the  church  and  abbey  of  St. 
Wast  d' Arras,  and  the  inhabitants  of  Arras,  Avhether  they 
have  withdrawn  into  the  one  or  the  other  prince's  country, 
shall  freely  return  home,  and  follow  their  respective  occu- 
pations, without  any  let  or  hindrance,  as  before  the  war. 

48.  The  heirs  of  those  who  have  been  put  to  death  for 
adhering  to  the  party  opposite  to  him  under  whom  they 
lived,  shall  return  to  their  estates  and  succeed.  The  widows 
also  of  such  shall  have  their  rights  and  dowries. 

49.  As  to  persons  enjoying  their  own,  they  shall  not  be 
obliged  to  go  and  reside  where  their  estates  are,  either  in 
the  one  or  the  other  countries. 

50.  The  King  consents  to  free  the  county  of  Artois,  the 
towns  of  Arras,  Aire,  Lens,  Bapaume,  Bethune,  their  vil- 
lages, and  the  chastellany  of  Lilliers,  from  the  tax  called 
the  ordinary  aid  of  Artois,  and  all  other  extraordinary  aids, 
for  the  space  of  six  years,  from  the  day  of  the  date  of  the 
peace:  and  seeing  the  late  Duchess  of  Austria  hath  ex- 
empted the  hospitals  of  Douay,  &c,  from  paying  any  taxes 
to  the  county  of  Artois  for  their  inheritances,  the  King  and 
Dauphin  confirm  the  same  privileges. 

51.  Those  who  shall  return  to  their  possessions  shall  not 
be  accountable  for  any  rent  due  during  the  war;  and  the 
lands  which,  by  reason  of  the  war,  have  been  untilled,  shall 
have  no  rent  paid  for  them  till  next  Christmas. 

52.  Those  who,  at  their  entry  upon  fiefs  and  inheritances, 

■  2 


C2  THE    MEMOIRS    OF    PHILIP   DE   COMMINK3.  [14d2. 

are  obliged  to  pay  fines  and  other  duties  to  their  lords,  shall 
have  three  months  allowed  them  to  do  it,  after  the  peace, 
and  so  remain  unmolested. 

53.  Tlie  nobility  and  feoffees  of  the  territories  of  the 
Duke  of  Austria,  and  his  son  Philip,  shall  not  be  obliged  to 
serve  under  any  but  them,  or  their  lieutenants ;  and  in  case 
that  they,  or  one  of  them,  should  be  in  the  King's  service,  if 
they  are  not  there  in  person,  the  other  shall  not  be  obliged 
to  serve  in  person,  but  may  send  another. 

54.  The  decrees  and  sentences  made  in  the  court  of 
Malines,  as  also  of  the  grand  council  of  the  Dukes  Philip 
and  Charles,  the  Duchess  Mary  and  the  present  duke,  shall 
stand  good,  and  not  be  brought  into  question  before  the 
Parliament  of  Paris,  or  any  other  sovereign  court.  But 
those  suits  and  clauses  which  are  not  yet  decided  in  the 
said  courts,  shall  be  brought  before  the  Parliament  of  Paris, 
and  there  be  determined. 

55.  In  like  manner,  mortmains,  compositions,  new  acquests, 
and  ennoblings,  made  by  the  said  dukes  and  duchess,  shall 
remain  good  ;  only  the  subjects  of  the  county  of  Artois 
shall  be  obliged  to  take  new  patents  for  their  nobility, 
which  shall  be  granted  without  any  charge  to  them. 

56.  The  abolitions,  remissions,  and  pardons,  granted  by 
Duke  Charles,  his  daughter,  and  the  dukes  of  Austria,  to  the 
counties  of  Flanders,  Lille,  Douay,  Artois,  and  Burgundy, 
shall  be  valid  ;  only  the  subjects  of  Artois  shall  sue  them  out 
as  before. 

57.  The  inhabitants  on  the  frontiers  of  the  duke,  and 
others  subject  to  the  French  crown,  cited  to  appear  in  per- 
son in  the  court  of  Parliament,  or  before  the  royal  judges, 
shall  appear  only  by  their  proctors,  during  the  minority  of 
the  said  lady  ;  and  the  same  privilege  is  granted  to  St.  Omer. 
Those  preferred  to  livings  by  Duke  Charles,  his  daughter,  &c, 
shall  remain  in  quiet  possession  of  them,  notwithstanding  any 
pretence  of  a  pragmatic  sanction,  or  the  like,  to  the  contrary. 

58.  Tournay,  Tournesis,  St.  Amand,  and  Mortagne,  are 
comprehended  in  this  treaty ;  and  any  places  the  King  may 
have  in  the  duchy  of  Luxemburg,  shall  be  restored  to  the 
Archduke,  and  his  son  Philip ;  so  shall  also  the  houses  of 
Flanders,  and  of  Conflans,  and  the  house  of  Artois  in  the 
eaid  country. 


14S2."|  TREATY   OF   ARRAS.  68 

59.  After  the  lady  shall  be  delivered  into  the  hands  of 
those  appointed  to  receive  her  for  the  Dauphin,  the  troops, 
for  the  benefit  of  trade,  shall  be  withdrawn  by  the  King 
from  the  little  places  on  the  frontiers;  and  for  the  larger 
ones,  the  garrisons  shall  be  regulated  to  the  satisfaction  of 
the  Duke  of  Austria,  and  the  States  of  the  country. 

60.  As  for  the  Duke's  desiring  to  have  the  King  of  Eng- 
land and  Duke  ofBretagne  comprehended  in  the  treaty,  it 
is  answered,  "the  English  are  in  truce  with  France,  and  for 
the  Duke  ofBretagne,  the  King  is  at  peace  with  him." 

61.  The  King,  after  the  peace,  will  assist  the  duke  against 
William  of  Aremberg,  the  Liegeois,  and  all  others  that  shall 
invade  Brabant,  &c. 

62.  The  Duke's  subjects  shall  have  all  manner  of  protec- 
tion and  encouragement,  in  respect  to  navigation  and  com- 
merce, equally  with  those  of  France. 

63.  Any  prizes  taken  after  the  publication  of  the  peace 
shall  be  restored,  for  the  prevention  whereof,  the  peace  shall 
on  both  sides  be  proclaimed  without  delay. 

64.  Such  as  are  malefactors  and  delinquents,  after  the 
peace,  shall  be  seized  on  both  sides,  and  returned  to  be 
punished  by  the  parties  to  whom  they  belong. 

65.  The  infractors  and  violators  of  this  peace,  be  they 
who  they  will,  shall  be  punished  unfeignedly  for  an  example 
to  others,  in  the  places  where  they  are  taken. 

66.  In  case  this  peace  should  in  any  way  be  contravened, 
it  shall  not  be  reputed  an  infraction  or  rupture ;  but  the 
breach  shall  forthwith  be  made  up,  and  reparation  made, 
without  coming  to  hostilities  either  by  sea  or  land,  before 
the  King  and  the  Duke's  ambassadors  have  met  together  to 
adjust  the  difference  in  an  amicable  way. 

67.  It  is  agreed,  that  as  soon  as  the  said  lady  is  brought 
to  Lisle  or  Douay,  and  before  she  be  conducted  to  Arras, 
the  promises  and  sureties  which  follow  shall  be  given  the 
Duke  and  States.  That  in  case  the  Dauphin  do  not  ac- 
complish the  marriage  in  due  time,  the  said  lady  shall  be 
returned,  at  the  King's  or  Dauphin's  charge,  to  her  father  or 
brother,  in  one  of  the  good  towns  of  Brabant.  Flanders,  or 
Hainault,  in  the  Duke's  possession ;  and  the  King  and 
Dauphin,  in  that  case,  shall  quit  all  pretensions  for  keeping 
the  territories  and  countries  of  Artois,  Burgundy,  Charolois, 

a  3 


54  THE    MEMOIRS    OK    PHILIP    DE    COMMINE8.  [1482. 

Majonnois,  Auxerrois,  the  lordships  of  Salins,  Bar-sur- 
Seine,  and  Noyers,  and  surrender  them  to  the  Duke  in  the 
name  of  his  son  Philip,  while  under  age,  or  to  Philip  when 
of  age,  reserving  only  the  homage  and  sovereignty  to  him. 

68.  The  King  shall  also,  upon  the  failure  of  the  marriage, 
renounce  his  right  to  Lisle,  Douay,  and  Orchies,  and  consent 
they  shall  belong  for  ever  to  the  Counts  and  Countesses  of 
Flanders. 

69.  The  signing,  sealing,  and  ratifying  of  all  the  premises 
in  ample  and  due  form,  shall  be  done  by  the  parties  on 
either  sides.  The  treaty  shall  also  be  registered  and  verified 
in  the  court  of  the  Parliament  of  Paris,  and  in  the  Chambers 
of  Accompts,  and  of  the  Finances. 

The  rest  of  the  articles  being  mere  matter  of  form,  con- 
cerning the  observation  of  the  treaty,  are  omitted. 


Ch.  VII.  —  How  the  King  sent  for  the  Holy  Man  of  Calabria  to 
Tours,  supposing  he  could  cure  him;  and  of  the  strange  Things  that 
were  done  by  the  King,  during  his  Sickness,  to  preserve  his  Autho- 
rity.—1482. 

Among  men  renowned  for  devotion,  King  Louis  sent  into 
Calabria  for  one  Friar  Robert*,  who,  for  the  holiness  and 
purity  of  his  life,  was  called  the  "  Holy  Man  ;"  and  in  honour 
to  whom  our  present  King  erected  a  monastery  at  Plessis-du- 
Parc,  in  compensation  for  the  chapel  near  Plessis  at  the  end 

*  In  previous  editions  it  is  erroneously  stated  that  the  name  of  this  holy 
man  was  Friar  Robert;  but  there  can  be  no  doubt,  that  the  personage  al- 
luded to  in  the  text  was  St.  Francis  de  Paulo,  the  founder  of  the  Minims, 
or  lowest  order  of  monks.  He  was  born  at  Paulo  in  Calabria  in  the  year 
1416.  He  began  his  career  by  retiring  to  a  cave  on  a  desert  part  of 
the  coast,  where  his  sanctity  soon  obtained  for  him  many  followers,  who 
ere  long  constructed  a  monastery  round  his  cell.  His  rule  was  ex- 
tremely rigorous;  he  enjoined  his  disciples  to  abstain  from  wine,  fish,  and 
meat,  never  to  sleep  on  a  bed,  to  go  always  barefooted,  and  to  practise 
many  other  bodily  mortifications.  He  died  in  France,  on  the  2nd  of 
April,  1507,  at  the  age  of  ninety-one,  and  he  was  canonised  by  Pope 
Leo  X.  in  1519.  By  the  confession  of  his  admirers,  he  was  perfectly 
illiterate. 


I4S2.]         THE  nOLY  MAN  OF  CALABRIA.  53 

of  the  bridge.*  This  hermit,  at  the  age  of  twelve  years,  was 
put  into  a  hole  in  a  rock,  where  he  lived  until  the  age  ot 
three  and  forty  years  and  upwards,  when  the  King  sent  for 
him  by  a  steward  of  his  household  f,  in  the  company  of  the 
Prince  of  Tarento,  the  son  of  the  King  of  Naples.  For  this 
hermit  would  not  stir  without  leave  from  his  Holiness,  and 
from  his  king,  which  was  great  discretion  in  a  man  so  inex- 
perienced in  the  affairs  of  the  world,  though  he  had  built 
two  churches  in  the  place  where  he  lived ;  and  he  never  had 
eaten  flesh,  fish,  eggs,  milk,  or  any  thing  that  was  fat  J,  since 
he  undertook  thatf  austerity  of  life,  nor  has  he  yet ;  and  truly 
I  never  saw  any  man  living  so  holy,  nor  out  of  whose  mouth 
the  Holy  Ghost  did  more  manifestly  speak;  for  he  was  not 
illiterate,  though  he  had  never  been  taught ;  only  his  Italian 
tongue  was  a  great  assistance  to  him. 

This  hermit  passed  through  Naples,  where  he  was  re- 
spected, and  visited  (with  as  much  pomp  and  ceremony, 
as  if  he  had  been  the  Pope's  Legate)  both  by  the  King  of 


*  By  letters  patent,  dated  on  the  6th  of  May,  1491,  Charles  VIII. 
ordains  "  that  the  furniture,  vestments,  and  ornaments  which  decorate 
the  chapel  of  St.  Matthew  in  the  lower  court  of  his  house  at  Plessis, 
and  which  belong  to  Francis  de  Paulo  and  his  companions,  shall  be  re- 
moved to  the  place  where,  at  their  prayer  and  request,  he  has  recently 
caused  a  church  to  be  built  for  them,  behind  the  enclosure  of  the  park 
of  Montils,  and  dedicated  to  Jesu  Maria." 

f  Guynot  de  Boussiere,  or  Guynot  de  Lauziere,  as  he  is  called  in  a 
letter  from  Louis  XL  to  Francis  de  Genas,  superintendent  of  the  fi- 
nances. The  letter  is  as  follows: — "Mr.  Superintendent, — The  seneschal 
of  Qucrcy,  Guynot  de  Lauziere,  who  brought  to  me  the  good  holy  man, 
complains  that  you  have  deprived  him  of  half  of  his  pension,  which 
amounts  to  600  livres  tournois,  and  that  you  told  him  I  had  ordered  it. 
which  I  did  not,  and  never  intended  to  do.  And  I  assure  you  I  am  not 
pleased  with  you,  wherefore  take  care  (and  fear  to  disobey  me),  that  as 
soon  as  you  sec  these  letters,  the  matter  may  be  entirely  settled,  and  the 
pension  paid  in  such  a  manner  that  I  may  hear  no  more  about  it;  for 
if  you  fail  to  obey,  you  shall  be  lodged  in  the  hands  of  my  Lord  of 
Alby;  and  from  this  time  forth,  and  until  he  is  satisfied,  I  detain  in  my 
hands  the  wages  and  pensions  which  you  receive  from  me.  Written  at 
l'lcssis  du  Fare,  on  the  15th  day  of  May,  1482." — Dupont,  ii.  229. 

I  Another  letter  from  Louis  XI.  to  Francis  de  Genas  illustrates  the 
holy  man's  mode  of  life  : — "  Mr.  Superintendent, — I  beg  you  to  send  me 
Bonie  limes  and  sweet  oranges  and  muscadcl  pears  and  water  melons,  for 
the  holy  man  who  cats  neither  flesh  nor  fish:  and  you  will  thereby  give 
me  very  great  pleasure.     Written  at  Clery  on  the  29th  of  June,  1483." 

£  4 


56  THE   MEMOIRS   OF   PIIILIP   DE   COMMOTES.         [1482 

Naples  and  his  children,  with  whom  he  conversed  as  if  he 
had  been  all  the  days  of  his  life  a  courtier.  From  thence  he 
went  to  Rome,  where  he  was  visited  by  all  the  cardinals, 
had  audience  three  times  of  the  Pope,  and  was  every  time 
alone  with  him  three  or  four  hours,  sitting  beside  him  in  a 
rich  chair  (which  was  great  honour  for  a  person  of  his  low 
condition),  and  answering  so  discreetly  to  everything  that 
was  asked  him,  that  everybody  was  astonished  at  it,  and 
his  Holiness  gave  him  leave  to  institute  a  new  order,  called 
the  Hermits  of  St.  Francis.  From  Rome  he  came  to  our 
king  *,  who  paid  him  the  same  honour  as  he  would  have 
done  to  the  Pope  himself,  falling  down  upon  his  knees 
before  him,  and  begging  him  to  prolong  his  life  :  to  which 
he  replied  as  a  prudent  man  ought.  I  have  heard  him  often 
in  discourse  with  the  present  king,  in  the  presence  of  all  the 
nobility  of  the  kingdom,  and  that  not  above  two  months 
ago ;  and  it  seemed  to  me  that  whatever  he  said  or  remon- 
strated, was  suggested  by  inspiration,  or  else  it  would  have 
been  impossible  for  him  to  have  spoken  of  some  things  that 
he  discoursed  of.  He  is  still  living,  and  may  grow  either 
better  or  worse,  and  therefore  I  will  say  nothing.  There 
were  some  of  the  courtiers  that  made  a  jest  of  the  king's 
sending  for  this  hermit,  and  called  him  the  Holy  Man,  by 
way  of  banter;  but  they  knew  not  the  thoughts  of  that  wise 
king,  and  had  not  seen  what  it  was  that  induced  him  to 
doit. 

Our  king  was  at  Plessis,  with  little  company  but  his 
archers,  and  the  suspicions  I  mentioned  before,  against  which 
he  had  carefully  provided  ;  for  he  allowed  no  person,  of  whom 
he  had  any  suspicion,  to  remain  either  in  the  town  or 
country  ;  but  he  sent  his  archers  not  only  to  warn,  but  to  con- 
duct them  away.  No  business  was  communicated  to  him 
but  what  was  of  great  importance,  and  highly  concerned  him. 
To  look  upon  him  one  would  have  thought  him  rather  a  dead 
than  a  living  man.  He  was  grown  so  lean,  it  was  scarce 
credible:  his  clothes  were  now  richer  and  more  magnificent 
than  they  had  ever  been  before  ;  his  gowns  were  all  of 
crimson  satin,  lined  with  rich  martens'  furs,  of  which  he 
gave  several  away,  without  being  requested  ;  for  no  person 
durst  ask  a  favour  of  him,  or  scarce  speak  to  him  of  any 

*  He  arrived  at  the  castle  of  Plessis  on  the  24th  of  April,  1482. 


1482   |  STRANGE   CONDUCT   OP   THE    KING. 


57 


thing.  He  inflicted  very  severe  punishments  to  inspire 
dread,  and  for  fear  of  losing  his  authority,  as  he  told  me 
himself.  He  removed  officers,  disbanded  soldiers,  retrenched 
pensions,  and  sometimes  took  them  away  altogether  ;  so  that, 
as  he  told  me  not  many  days  before  his  death,  he  passed  his 
time  in  making  and  ruining  men  ;  which  caused  him  to  be 
talked  of  more  than  any  of  his  predecessors,  and  he  did  this 
that  his  subjects  might  take  notice  he  was  not  yet  dead  ; 
for  few  were  admitted  into  his  presence  (as  I  said  before), 
and  when  they  heard  of  his  vagaries,  nobody  was  willing  to 
believe  he  was  sick. 

He  also  sent  agents  to  all  foreign  courts.  In  England, 
their  business  was  to  carry  on  the  treaty  of  marriage  *,  and 
pay  King  Edward  and  his  ministers  of  state  their  pensions 
very  punctually.  In  Spain,  their  instructions  were  to  amuse 
that  court  with  fair  words,  and  to  distribute  presents  as 
they  found  it  necessary  for  the  advancement  of  his  affairs. 
In  remoter  countries,  where  he  had  no  mind  his  indisposi- 
tion should  be  known,  he  caused  fine  horses  or  mules  to  be 
bought  at  any  rate  whatever  ;  but  tins  was  not  done  in 
France.  He  had  a  mighty  curiosity  for  dogs  f,  and  sent 
into  foreign  countries  for  them;  into  Spain  for  mastiffs; 
into  Bretagne  for  greyhounds  and  spaniels ;  to  Valentia  for 
little  shaggy  dogs  ;  and  bought  them  at  a  dearer  price  than 
the  people' asked.  He  sent  into  Sicily  to  buy  a  mule  of  an 
officer  of  that  country,  and  paid  him  double  the  value.  At 
Naples  he  bought  horses  ;  and  purchased  strange  creatures 
wherever  they  could  be  found,  such  as  a  sort  of  lion?  from  Bar- 
bary  |  no  bigger  than  foxes,  and  which  are  called  adits.  He 
sent  into  Sweden  and  Denmark  for  two  sorts  of  beasts  those 

*  The  marriage  of  the  Dauphin  with  the  Princess  Elizabeth  of 
England. 

t  The  accounts  of  Jehan  Ragnier  for  the  year  1479  inform  us  that 
he  gave  "  to  a  Portuguese,  who  had  brought  some  dogs  to  the  King, 
six  gold  crowns;  to  an  Englishman,  who  brought  him  a  great  dog,  ten 
gold  crowns;  to  a  man  who  brought  him  a  little  dog,  one  crown;  to  six 
men  who  brought  him  some  live  hares,  thirty  crowns." 

{  In  1482,  a  sum  of  1G0  livres  was  paid  to  Master  Mace  Bastard,  for 
the  expenses  of  a  journey  he  had  made  into  Provence,  by  the  King's 
order,  "  to  await  the  coming  of  certain  galleys  with  strange  and  savage 
beasts,  and  other  things,  which  the  King  had  ordered  to  be  brought  from 
the  countries  of  Barbary." — Eontameu,  142. 


6$  THE    MK3IOIU8    OF    PHILIP    DE    COMBINES.  [1482, 

countries  afforded  ;  one  of  them  called  an  elk,  of  the  shape 
of  a  stag,  and  the  size  of  a  buffalo,  with  short  and  thick 
horns  ;  the  other,  called  reindeers,  of  the  shape  and  colour 
of  a  fallow  deer,  but  with  much  larger  horns  ;  indeed  I  have 
seen  reindeers  with  fifty-four  horns ;  for  six  of  each  of 
which  beasts  he  gave  the  merchants  four  thousand  five  hun- 
dred Dutch  florins.*  Yet,  when  all  these  rarities  were 
brought  to  him,  he  never  valued  them,  and  many  times  would 
not  so  much  as  see  the  persons  who  brought  them  to  him. 
In  short,  he  behaved  himself  after  so  strange  a  manner,  that 
he  was  more  formidable,  both  to  his  neighbours  and  subjects, 
than  he  had  ever  been  before  ;  and  indeed  that  was  his 
design,  and  the  motive  which  induced  him  to  act  so  unac- 
countably. 


Ch.  VIII.  —  Of  the  Conclusion  of  the  Marriage  between  the  Dauphin 
and  Margaret  of  Flanders,  and  how  she  was  brought  into  France; 
upon  which  Edward  IV.,  King  of  England,  died  with  displeasure. — 
1482-3. 

But  to  return  to  our  principal  design,  and  to  the  conclusion 
of  these  Memoirs,  and  the  affairs  of  all  the  illustrious  per- 
sons of  the  age  in  which  they  were  transacted,  it  is  abso- 
lutely necessary  for  us  to  speak  of  the  conclusion  of  the  mar- 
riage between  our  present  king  (then  Dauphin  of  France) 
and  the  daughter  of  the  Duke  and  Duchess  of  Austria, 
which  was  effected  by  the  mediation  of  the  citizens  of  Ghent, 
to  the  great  displeasure  of  the  King  of  England,  who  found 
himself  deluded  in  the  hopes  he  had  entertained  of  marrying 
his  daughter  to  the  Dauphin,  of  which  marriage  both  himself 
and  his  queen  were  more  ambitious  than  of  any  other  match 
in  the  world  ;  and  never  would  believe  any  man,  whether 
subject  or  foreigner,  that  endeavoured  to  persuade  them  that 
our  king's  intentions  were  not  sincere  and  honourable.    For 

•  In  the  accounts  of  Pierre  de  Lailly  for  the  year  1479,  the  following 
entry  occurs:  -  "  To  Bernard  More,  an  Easterling  merchant,  750  livres, 
as  agreed  upon,  for  bringing  to  the  King  six  beasts  named  elks,  three 
males  and  three  females,  and  six  others  named  reindeer,  also  three  mulea 
and  three  females." — Dupont,  ii.  234. 


1482.]  CONFERENCE   AT    HALOTS.  59 

the  Parliament  of  England  had  remonstrated  to  King 
Edward  several  times,  when  our  king  was  in  Picardy,  that 
after  he  had  conquered  that  province  he  would  certainly  fall 
upon  Calais  and  Guynes,  which  are  not  far  off.  The 
ambassadors  from  the  Duke  and  Duchess  of  Austria,  as  also 
those  from  the  Duke  of  Bretagne,  who  were  continually  in 
England  at  that  time,  represented  the  same  thing  to  him,  but 
to  no  purpose  ;  for  he  would  believe  nothing  of  it  *,  and  he 
suffered  greatly  for  his  incredulity :  yet  I  am  entirely  of 
opinion  his  conduct  proceeded  not  so  much  from  ignorance  as 
avarice,  for  he  was  afraid  to  lose  his  annual  pension  of  fifty 
thousand  crowns,  which  our  master  paid  very  punctually  ; 
and,  besides,  he  was  unwilling  to  leave  his  ease  and  pleasures, 
to  which  he  was  extremely  given. 

There  was  a  conference  held  at  Halots,  in  Flanders,  about 
this  marriage,  at  which  the  Duke  of  Austria  (now  King  of 
the  Romans)  was  present,  with  several  commissioners  from 
the  three  Estates  of  Flanders,  Brabant,  and  other  territories 
belonging  to  the  Duke  and  his  children.  There  the  Gan- 
tois  did  several  tilings  contrary  to  the  Duke's  inclination  ;  for 
they  banished  his  officers,  removed  old  servants  from  about  his 
son,  told  him  their  desire  to  have  the  marriage  concluded,  in 
order  to  establish  peace,  and  forced  him  to  an  accommodation, 
whether  he  would  or  not.  The  Duke  was  very  young,  and 
but  scantily  provided  with  sense  ;  for  all  belonging  to  the 
house  of  Burgundy  were  either  slain  or  revolted  to  France, 
or  at  least  the  greatest  part,  I  mean  of  such  as  were  capable 
of  advising  him  ;  so  that  coming  thither  with  a  small 
retinue,  and  having  lost  his  duchess,  who  was  sovereign  in 
those  provinces,  he  durst  not  speak  so  boldly  to  his  subjects 
as  when  she  was  alive.  In  short,  the  King  was  informed  of 
all  these  proceedings  by  the  Lord  des  Cordes,  and  was  very 
well  pleased ;  and  a  day  was  set  for  the  young  lady  to  be 
conducted  to  Hesdin. 

A  few  days  before,  in  the  year  1481,  Aire  was  delivered 
up,  for  a  sum  of  money  f,  to  the  Lord  des  Cordes,  by  the  Lord 

*  He  was  probably  satisfied  by  the  letter  of  Louis  XL  to  Lord 
Hastings.     See  p.  40. 

t  Aire  surrendered  on  the  28th  July,  1482.  It  was  sold  by  the  Lor  1 
de  Cohea  tor  an  annual  pens' on  of  ten  thousand  crowns.  — Molinex,  iu 
3Uf, 


6C  THE    MEMOIRS   OF   PHILIP   DE    COMMIXES         [1482, 

de  Coliem  (a  gentleman  of  Artois),  who  had  held  it  under 
his  captain,  the  Lord  de  Beurs*,  for  the  Duke  of  Austria,  a 
good  while.  The  surrender  of  this  town,  which  was  very 
strong,  and  situated  in  Artois,  at  the  very  entrance  into  their 
country,  helped  the  Flemings  to  hasten  the  marriage,  for 
though  they  were  well  enough  pleased  at  the  diminution  of 
the  Duke's  power,  yet  they  did  not  care  to  have  the  King  so 
near  them  upon  their  frontiers.  As  soon  as  measures  were 
concerted,  as  I  said  before,  ambassadors  were  sent  to  the 
King  from  Flanders  and  Brabantf ;  but  all  depended  upon 
the  Gantois,  by  reason  of  their  strength,  and  because  the 
Duke's  children  were  in  their  hands,  and  they  were  always 
the  most  forward  in  every  commotion.  With  them  there  came 
in  behalf  of  the  King  of  the  Romans,  certain  young  noble- 
men much  about  his  own  age,  and  but  indifferently  qualified 
to  make  terms  of  peace  for  their  country  ;  Monsieur  John 
de  BerghesJ  was  one,  and  Monsieur  Baudouin  de  Lannoy§ 
was  the  other,  besides  some  few  secretaries.  Our  king  was 
then  very  ill,  and  had  no  inclination  to  be  seen,  and  pre- 
tended great  difficulty  about  swearing  to  the  treaties  in  the 
manner  agreed  on  ;  but  it  was  only  because  he  was  unwilling 
they  should  see  him.  However,  he  swore  to  them  at  last, 
which  wasmuch  to  his  advantage  ;  for  whereas  in  all  his  former 
overtures  for  the  match,  lie  demanded  only  the  county  of 
Artois  or  Burgundy,  or  whichever  of  the  two  they  pleased 
to  assign  him:  now,  the  States  of  Ghent  (as  he  called  them) 
were  contented  he  should  have  both,  and  the  counties  of 
Maconnois,  Charolois,  and  Auxerrois,  into  the  bargain;  and 
if  they  could  have  delivered  Hainault,  Namur,  and  all  the 
subjects  of  that  family  who  speak  the  French  language, 


*  Philip  of  Burgundy,  Lord  of  Bevres  and  La  Vere,  councillor  and 
chamberlain  of  Maximilian,  King  of  the  Romans,  Knight  of  the  Golden 
Fleece,  and  Governor  of  Artois. 

f  These  ambassadors  arrived  at  Paris  on  Saturday,  the  3rd  of 
January,  1483,  and  proceeded  on  the  following  Monday  to  Amboise, 
where  the  King  was  then  residing. — Lenglet,  ii.  168. 

£  John  de  Berghes,  knight,  Lord  of  Cohen  and  Olhain,  and  governor 
of  the  town  of  Aire  for  the  Archduke  Maximilian. 

§  Baudoin  de  Lannoy,  second  of  the  name,  Lord  of  Molembrais, 
Knight  of  the  Golden  Fleece,  chamberlain  and  steward  of  the  Archduke 
Maximilian.    He  died  on  the  7th  of  May,  1501. 


1483.]         RECEPTION   OF   MARGARET   OF   FLANDERS.  61 

they  would  willingly  have  done  so,  on  purpose  to  weaken 
their  sovereign. 

Our  master  was  a  cunning  politician,  and  understood  well 
enough  that  Flanders  was  of  little  importance  to  him,  unless 
he  could  have  Artois  with  it,  which  lies  betwixt  France  and 
them,  and  is  as  it  were  a  bridle  to  the  Flemings,  affording 
good  soldiers  upon  occasion,  to  correct  their  wantonness  and 
folly ;  and  therefore  in  taking  from  the  Earl  of  Flanders  the 
county  of  Artois,  he  would  leave  him  the  most  inconsider- 
able prince  in  Europe,  without  either  subjects  or  authority, 
except  by  the  permission  of  the  Gantois;  whose  commis- 
sioners, William  Ryn  and  Coppenole,  whom  I  mentioned 
before  (governors  ol*  Ghent),  were  at  that  time  principal  in 
the  embassy.  Upon  the  return  of  the  ambassadors,  the 
Lady  Margaret  was  conducted  to  Hesdin,  and  delivered  into 
the  hands  of  the  Lord  des  Cordes,  in  the  year  1483,  and 
with  her  came  Madame  de  Ravestain,  Duke  Philip  of  Bur- 
gundy's natural  daughter,  and  they  were  received  by  the 
present  Monsieur  and  Madame  de  Bourbon*,  the  Lord 
d'Albretf,  and  others  from  the  king;  and  they  brought 
her  to  Amhoise,  where  the  dauphin  met  her.}     If  the  Duke 

*  Anne  of  France,  daughter  of  Louis  XI.  and  Charlotte  of  Savoy, 
married  Pierre  de  Bourbon,  Lord  of  Beaujeu,  in  1474,  and  assumed  the 
title  of  Duchess  of  Bourbon  in  1488.  She  died  on  the  14th  of  November, 
1522,  after  having  governed  the  kingdom  with  great  prudence  and 
energy  during  the  minority  of  Charles  VIII. 

f  Alain  le  Grand,  son  of  Jean  d'Albret,  Viscount  de  Tartas,  suc- 
ceeded his  grandfather  Charles  II.  in  1471.  He  married  Frances,  daugh- 
ter of  Jean  de  Blois,  Count  of  Penthievre  ;  and  in  virtue  of  this  mar- 
riage, set  up  a  claim  to  the  duchy  of  Brittany,  and  became  a  competitor 
for  the  hand  of  Anne  of  Brittany.     He  died  in  October,  1522. 

J  Margaret  was  then  three  years  and  a  half  old,  and  the  Dauphin 
rather  more  than  twelve.  Their  meeting  took  place  on  Sunday,  the 
22nd  of  June,  1483,  at  a  place  called  Metairie  le  Payne,  near  Amboise. 
"The  Dauphin,"  says  a  contemporary  letter,  "left  the  Castle  of  Am- 
boise, dressed  in  a  robe  of  crimson  satin,  lined  with  black  velvet,  and 
mounted  on  a  hackney,  and  attended  by  thirty  archers.  At  the  bridge 
he  dismounted,  after  having  saluted  the  ladies,  and  changed  his 
dress  and  put  on  a  long  robe  of  cloth  of  gold.  .  .  Presently  the 
Dauphiness  arrived,  and  descended  from  her  litter  ;  and  immediately 
they  were  betrothed  by  the  prothonotary,  nephew  of  the  Grand  Sene- 
schal of  Normandy,  who  demanded  of  the  Dauphin  in  a  loud  voice,  so 
that  all  could  hear  him,  If  he  would  have  Margaret  of  Austria  in  mar- 
riage ?  and  he  answered,  Yes  ;  and  a  similar  question  was  put  to  th« 


62  THE    MEMOIRS    OP    PHILIP    HE    COMMINES.  [1483. 

of  Austria  could  have  taken  her  from  her  convoy,  he  would 
willingly  have  done  it  before  she  left  his  dominions  ;  but  the 
Gantois  had  placed  too  strong  a  guard  about  her,  for  they 
had  begun  to  abate  much  of  their  obedience  to  him,  and 
many  considerable  persons  joined  with  them,  as  having  the 
custody  of  the  young  heir,  and  power  of  placing  and  dis- 
placing whom  they  pleased.  Among  the  nobility  who  were 
resident  in  Ghent,  there  was  the  Lord  of  Ravestain,  brother 
to  the  Duke  of  Cleves,  and  chief  governor  to  the  young 
prince,  whose  name  is  Philip,  still  living,  and  like  to  possess 
vast  territories,  if  it  please  God  to  spare  his  life. 

But  whoever  was  pleased  with  this  match,  the  King  of 
England  was  highly  affronted ;  for  he  thought  himself  dis- 
graced and  baffled,  and  in  danger  of  losing  his  pension  or 
tribute,  as  the  English  called  it.  He  feared  likewise  it 
would  render  him  contemptible  at  home,  and  occasion  some 
rebellion,  more  especially  because  he  had  rejected  the  re- 
monstrances of  his  council.  Besides,  he  saw  the  King  of 
France  ready  to  invade  his  dominions  with  a  very  great 
force;  which  made  such  a  deep  impression  upon  his  spirits, 
that  he  fell  sick  immediately  upon  hearing  the  news,  and 
died  not  long  after,  though  some  say  he  died  of  a  catarrh 
But  let  them  say  what  they  please,  the  general  opinion  was, 
his  grief  at  the  consummation  of  this  marriage,  caused  the 
illness  which  killed  him  in  the  month  of  April,  1483.*     It 

Dauphiness,  who  gave  the  same  answer.  Upon  which,  they  joined 
hands,  and  the  Dauphin  kissed  the  Dauphiness  twice  ;  and  then  they 
returned  to  their  lodgings.  And  the  streets  of  Amboise  were  hung 
with  cloth,  and  in  the  market  place  was  a  figure  of  a  Siren,  who  spouted 
forth  white  wine  and  red  from  her  breasts."  The  next  day,  the  young 
couple  went  through  the  ceremony  of  marriage  in  the  chapel  of  the  cas- 
tle.— Dupont,  iii.  345.  352. 

*  King  Edward  IV.  died  on  the  9th  of  April,  and  the  Dauphin's 
marriage  did  not  take  place  until  the  22nd  of  June,  more  than  two 
months  later  ;  so  that  the  supposition  of  Commines  that  he  died  of 
pndef  at  the  disappointment  of  his  own  daughter,  who  had  long  been 
contracted  to  the  Dauphin,  is  evidently  erroneous.  His  dissolute  mode 
of  life  renders  it  exceedingly  probable  that  he  died  of  a  surfeit,  accord- 
ing to  the  popular  report.  "  He  was  a  princ  V  says  Hume,  "  mora 
splendid  and  showy  than  either  prudent  or  virtuous  ;  brave,  thought 
3rucl  ;  addicted  to  pleasure,  though  capable  of  activity  in  great  emer- 
g  inrica,  and  les6  fitted  to  prevent  ills  by  wise  precautions,  than  to  re- 
medy them  after  they  took  plate,  by  his  vigour  and  enterprise. ' 


1483.]  DEATH    OF    EDWARD    IV.    OF    ENGLAND  63 

is  a  great  fault  in  a  prince  to  be  obstinate,  and  rely  more 
upon  his  own  judgment  than  on  the  opinion  of  his  council; 
and  sometimes  it  occasions  such  losses  and  disappointments 
as  are  never  to  be  repaired. 

Our  King  was  quickly  informed  of  King  Edward's  death  i 
but  he  expressed  no  manner  of  joy  upon  hearing  the 
news.  Not  long  after,  he  received  letters  from  the  Duke  of 
Gloucester,  who  had  made  himself  king*,  styled  himself 
Richard  III.,  and  barbarously  murdered  his  two  nephews.f 
This  King  Richard  desired  to  live  in  the  same  friendship 
with  our  king  as  his  brother  had  done,  and  I  believe  would 
gladly  have  had  his  pension  continued;  but  our  king  looked 
upon  him  as  an  inhuman  and  cruel  person,  and  would  neither 
answer  his  letters  nor  give  audience  to  his  ambassador;  for 
King  Richard,  after  his  brother's  death,  had  sworn  alle- 
giance to  his  nephew,  as  his  king  and  sovereign,  and  yet 
committed  that  inhuman  action  not  long  after :  and,  in  full 
Parliament,  caused  two  of  his  brother's  daughters  to  be 
degraded  and  declared  illegitimate,  upon  a  pretence  which 
he  justified  by  means  of  the  Bishop  of  Bath,  who,  having 
been  formerly  in  great  favour  with  King  Edward,  had  in- 
curred his  displeasure,  was  dismissed,  imprisoned,  and  fined 
a  good  sum  for  his  releasement.f  This  bishop  affirmed, 
that  King  Edward  being  in  love  with  a  certain  lady  whom 
he  named,  and  otherwise  unable  to  have  his  desire9  of  her, 
had  promised  her  marriage  ;  and  caused  the  bishop  to  marry 

*  Richard  III.  did  not  assume  the  title  of  King  until  the  26th  of  June, 
1483,  after  the  death  of  his  nephew  Edward  V. 

f  Molinet  (ii.  402.)  gives  the  following  account  of  the  murder  of  the 
princes  :  "  The  eldest  was  simple  and  very  melancholy,  aware  of  the 
wickedness  of  his  uncle,  but  the  youngest  was  joyous  and  witty,  nimble, 
and  ever  ready  for  dances  and  games  ;  and  he  said  to  his  brother,  who 
wore  the  order  of  the  garter,  '  My  brother,  learn  to  dance  :'  and  his 
brother  answered,  '  It  would  be  better  for  us  to  learn  to  die,  for  I  think 
we  shall  not  long  remain  in  the  world  !'  They  were  prisoners  for 
about  five  weeks  ;  and  Duke  Richard  had  them  secretly  slain  by  the 
captain  of  the  Tower.  And  when  the  executioners  came,  the  eldest  was 
asleep,  but  the  youngest  was  awake,  and  he  perceived  their  intention, 
and  began  to  say,  '  Ha !  my  brother,  awake,  for  they  have  come  to  kill 
vou.'  Then  he  said  to  the  executioners,  '  Why  do  you  kill  my  brother? 
kill  me,  and  let  him  live.'  But  they  were  both  killed  ;  aud  their  bodies 
cast  into  a  secret  place." 

X  See  notes,  vol.  i.  pp.  395,  396. 


64  THE    MEMOIRS   OP   PHILIP    DE   COMMTNES.         [1483. 

them,  upon  which  he  enjoyed  her  person,  though  his  promise 
was  only  made  to  delude  her  ;  but  such  games  are  dangerous, 
as  the  effects  frequently  demonstrate.  I  have  known  many 
a  courtier  who  would  not  have  lost  such  a  fair  lady  for  want 
of  promises. 

This  malicious  prelate  smothered  this  revenge  in  his  heart 
near  twenty  years  together,  but  it  recoiled  upon  himself,  for 
he  had  a  son,  of  whom  he  was  extremely  fond,  and  to  whom 
King  Richard  designed  to  give  a  plentiful  estate,  and  to 
have  married  him  to  one  of  the  young  ladies  whom  he  had 
declared  illegitimate  (who  is  now  Queen  of  England,  and 
lias  two  fine  children).  *  This  young  gentleman  being  on 
board  ship  by  commission  from  King  Richard,  was  taken  upon 
the  coast  of  Normandy,  and  upon  a  dispute  between  those  that 
took  him,  he  was  brought  before  the  Parliament  at  Paris,  put 
into  the  Petit  Chastellet,  and  suffered  to  lie  there  till  he  was 
starved  to  death.  This  King  Richard  himself  lived  not  long, 
no  more  did  the  Duke  of  Buckingham  f,  who  had  put  the  two 
children  to  death,  for  King  Richard  himself,  a  very  few  days 
afterwards,  ordered  his  execution  ;  and  against  King  Richard 
God  on  a  sudden  raised  up  an  enemy  J,  without  power,  with- 
out monej',  without  right  to  the  crown  of  England  §,  and 
without  any  reputation  but  what  his  person  and  deportment 
obtained  for  him  ;  for  he  had  suffered  much,  and  had  been, 
from  the  eighteenth  year  of  his  age,  prisoner  in  Bretagne 
to  Duke  Francis,  who  treated  him  as  kindly  as  the  necessity 
of  his  imprisonment  would  permit.  The  King  of  France 
having  supplied  him  with  some  money,  with  about  three 
thousand  Normans,  the  loosest  and  most  profligate  persons  in 
all  that  country,  he  passed  into  Wales,  where  his  father-in- 
law,  the  Lord  Stanley,  joined  him  with  twenty  five  thousand 

*  Arthur,  born  on  the  20th  of  September,  1486,  and  Margaret,  born 
in  1488. 

f  Molinet  (ii.  403)  also  asserts  that  Buckingham  was  implicated  in 
the  murder  of  the  princes  ;  but  there  is  no  evidence  to  be  found  in  sup- 
port of  the  statement,  which  rests  probably  on  the  fact  that  the  duke  was 
a  prominent  supporter  of  Richard's  usurpation,  and  was  therefore 
likely  to  have  been  concerned  in  the  assassination  of  his  nephews. 

J  The  Earl  of  Richmond,  afterwards  Henry  VII. 

§  Richmond  was  considered  as  representing  the  line  of  Lancaster  by 
right  of  his  mother,  Margaret  Beaufort,  who  was  daughter  of  a  Duke  of 
Somerset,  and  a  great-granddaughter  of  John  of  Gaunt. 


1483.]  PROSPERITY   OF    KINO   LOUTS.  65 

men  at  the  least;  in  three  or  four  days'  time  he  met  cruel 
King  Richard,  who  was  slain  on  the  held  of  battle  ;  and  he 
was  crowned  King  of  England,  and  reigns  at  this  present 
time.*  I  have  discoursed  on  this  subject  already,  but  it  is 
not  improper  to  mention  it  again,  it'  only  to  show  that  God 
in  our  times  has  taken  vengeance  for  such  cruelties  imme- 
diately, without  delaying  his  judgments.  Several  other 
princes  besides  have  met  with  the  same  reward  of  their 
villanies,  in  our  days  ;  but  who  could  enumerate  them? 


Ch.  IX. — How  the  King  behaved  towards  his  Neighbours  and  Sub- 
jects during  his  Sickness;  and  how  several  Tilings  were  sent  him  from 
several  Tarts,  for  the  Recovery  of  his  Health. — 14S3. 

Aftkr  the  consummation  of  this  marriage,  which  our  King 
had  so  earnestly  desired,  the  Flemings  were  perfectly  at  his 
command  :  Bretagne  (which  he  hated  so  bitterly)  was  at 
peace  with  him,  but  he  kept  them  in  great  awe  and  terror 
by  the  number  of  his  forces,  which  he  quartered  upon  their 
frontiers.  Spain  was  quiet,  and  her  king  and  queen  de- 
sired nothing  more  than  to  live  in  peace  and  amity  with  him, 
for  he  kept  them,  likewise,  in  perpetual  fear  and  expense 
about  the  country  of  Roussillon,  which  he  held  of  the 
House  of  Arragon,  and  which  had  been  given  him  bv  John 
King  of  Arragon,  father  to  the  present  King  of  Castile,  as 
security  for  some  conditions  "j"  which  have  never  yet  been 
performed.     The  princes  of  Italy  all  courted  his  friendship; 

*  Henry  left  Harfleur  on  the  1st  of  August,  1485,  with  an  army  of 
about  2,000  men,  and  landed  at  Milford  Haven  on  the  7th  of  August. 
He  met  with  little  opposition  in  Wales,  and  at  Shrewsbury  he  was  joined 
by  Sir  Gilbert  Talbot  and  all  his  vassals.  Marching  onwards,  through 
the  midland  counties,  he  came  up  with  his  rival  at  Bosworth,  in  Leices- 
tershire, on  the  22nd  of  August.  Henry  was  at  the  head  of  6,000  men, 
and  Richard  had  an  army  of  above  double  the  number.  But  during 
the  action  Lord  Stanley  joined  Henry  with  7,000  men,  and  decided  the 
battle  in  his  favour. 

f  By  letters  dated  on  the  23rd  of  May,  1462,  the  King  of  Arragon 

pledged  the  counties  of  Roussillon  and  Cerdagne  to  Louis  XI.  for  the 

sum  of  300,000  golden  crowns,  on  condition  that  Louis  should  supply 

him  with  a  sufficient  number  of  troops  to  reduce  Catalonia,  and  to  carry 

n  the  war  in  Arragon  and  Valencia.     These  countius  were  restored  to 

vol.  n.  v 


6b  TIE    MEMOIRS   OF   PHILIP   DE    COMMINES.  j_  1 483. 

and  some  of  them  had  entered  into  alliance  with  him,  and 
sent  ambassadors  often  to  his  court.  In  Germany  the  Swiss 
were  as  obedient  to  him  as  his  own  subjects.  The  Kings 
of  Scotland*  and  Portugal  f  were  his  allies.  Part  of  Na- 
varre X  was  perfectly  at  liis  disposal.  His  subjects  trembled 
before  him  ;  whatever  he  commanded  was  instantly  executed, 
without  the  lea?t  difficulty  or  hesitation. 

Whatever  was  thought  conducible  to  his  health  §,  was  sent 
to  him  from  all  corners  of  the  world.  Pope  Sixtus||  (who 
died  lately)  being  informed  of  the  King's  illness,  and  that  he, 
in  his  devotion,  desired  to  have  the  corporal,  or  vest,  which 
the  Apostle  St.  Peter  used  when  he  sung  mass,  sent  it  im- 
mediately, and  several  relics^f  besides,  which  were  returned 
to  him.  The  holy  vial  at  Rheims,  which  had  never  been 
moved  before,  was  brought  to  his  chamber  at  Plessis,  and 
stood  upon  his  buffet  when  he  died,  for  he  designed  to  be 
anointed  with  it  again,  as  he  was  at  his  coronation.  Some 
were  of  opinion  that  he  designed  to  have  anointed  himself 
all  over,  but  that  was  not  likely,  for  the  vial  is  but  small, 
and  there  is  no  great  store  of  oil  in  it.**     I  saw  it  myself  at 

Castile  by  the  Treaty  of  Barcelona,  signed  on  the  19th  of  January,  1493. 
— Prescott's  Ferdinand  and  Isabella,  vol.  ii.  p.  249. 

*  James  III.     See  note,  Vol.  I.  p.  398. 

•j-  John  II.,  son  of  Alphonso  V.,  King  of  Portugal.  He  succeeded  to 
the  throne  in  1481,  and  died  on  the  25th  of  October,  1495.  It  was  to 
him  that  Columbus  first  submitted  the  theory  on  which  he  had  founded 
his  belief  in  the  existence  of  a  western  route;  but  the  foolish  monarch 
refused  his  patronage  to  the  adventure. 

X  Navarre  was  then  divided  by  two  opposing  factions;  that  of  Queen 
Catherine,  the  niece  of  Louis  XL,  and  that  of  the  Viscount  of  Narbonne, 
who  wished  to  gain  possession  of  the  crown.  It  is  to  the  former  of  these 
parties,  doubtless,  that  Commines  alludes. 

§  Amon^  other  things,  he  tried  aurum  potabile,  and  paid  dearly  for 
it,  though  it  does  not  seem  to  have  done  him  much  good. 

||  Sixtus  IV.  died  on  the  13th  of  August,  1484.     See  note,  p.  25. 

^1  Nor  was  this  the  full  extent  of  the  Pope's  benevolence.  He  sent 
two  briefs  to  Francis  de  Paulo,  ordering  him  to  pray  for  the  rcstorstior 
of  the  King's  health,  under  penalty  of  excommunication  in  case  of  refusal. 
— Ratnaldus,  xix.  i9. 

**  The  supposition  of  Commines  is  correct:  the  King  did  not  dare  to 
ask,  in  the  first  intance,  to  be  entrusted  with  the  phial  itself.  "  Dear 
and  well-beloved,"  he  wrote  to  the  Abbot  of  St.  Remy  at  Rheims,  on  the 
17th  of  April,  1483,  "we  should  much  wish,  if  it  were  possible,  to  have 
a  little  drop  from  the  Holy  Ampulla;  wherefore  we  pray  you  to  consult 


1483.]  PRESENTS   FOR   THE   KING'S  RECOVERY.  67 

the  time  1  speak  of,  and  also  when  our  Lord  the  King  was 
interred  in  t lie  church  of  Notre  Dame  de  Clery.  *  The 
Great  Turk  J  that  now  reigns,  sent  an  ambassador  J  to  him, 
who  came  as  far  as  Riez,  in  Provence ;  but  the  King  would 
not  hear  him,  nor  permit  him  to  proceed  any  farther,  though 
he  brought  him  a  larjre  roll  of  relics  which  had  been  left  at 
Constantinople  in  the  hands  of  the  Turk  ;  all  which,  and  a 
considerable  sum  of  money  besides,  he  offered  to  deliver  into 
the  king's  hands,  if  he  would  keep  guard  over  a  brother  §  of 

and  inquire  whether  a  little  could  be  taken  from  the  phial  in  which  it  is 

contained,  without  sin  or  danger."  This  humble  and  modest  request 
having  been  refused,  Louis  XI.  had  recourse  to  the  authority  of  the 
Pope,  from  whom  he  obtained  the  desired  permission.  Three  commis- 
sioners, the  Bishop  of  Seez,  the  Governor  of  Auvergne,  and  the  Lord 
ie  la  Heuze,  were  sent  to  fetch  the  Holy  Ampulla  from  Rheims.  It  was 
escortod  into  Paris,  on  the  31st  of  July,  1843,  with  great  pomp;  and  on. 
the  following  day  it  was  taken  to  the  King. 

*  Notre  Dame  de  Cleiy,  a  pretty  little  town  on  the  left  bank  of  the 
Loire,  nine  miles  from  Orleans. 

t  Bajazet  II.,  son  of  Mahomet  II.,  succeeded  his  father  in  1481 ;  and 
was  dethroned  and  died  in  1512. 

J  The  name  of  this  ambassador  was  Hussein. — Hammer,  iii.  361. 

§  Djem,  or  Zizim,  brother  of  Bajazet  II.,  on  hearing  of  his  father's 
death,  resolved  to  make  a  vigorous  effort  for  the  empire;  but  rinding 
that  his  forces  were  far  inferior  to  those  of  his  brother,  he  applied  to  the 
Knights  Hospitallers  at  Rhodes  for  assistance,  who  resolved  to  concede 
his  demands,  and  Kent  a  squadron  to  escort  him  to  Rhodes,  where  he  was 
received  with  all  the  honours  due  to  a  powerful  sovereign.  Bajazet,  in 
great  alarm,  hastened  to  negotiate  a  treaty  with  the  Order;  the  Knights, 
however,  dared  not  violate  the  laws  of  hospitality  by  giving  up  Zizim; 
but  the  Grand  Master  concluded  a  secret  compact  with  the  Sultan,  in 
which,  for  the  annual  pension  of  45,000  ducats,  he  engaged  to  detain 
the  prince  a  prisoner.  The  subsequent  fate  of  the  unfortunate  captive 
was  truly  calamitous.  He  was  held  in  durance  for  a  long  time  in  France, 
constantly  mocked  with  false,  hopes,  until  Pope  Innocent  VIII.  bribed 
the  Grand  Master  D'Aubusson  with  a  cardinal's  hat  to  resign  to  him  the 
guardianship  of  his  profitable  prisoner.  In  1489  Zizim  was  removed 
to  Rome,  where  he  was  tormented  by  frequent  proposals  to  change  his 
religion,  all  of  which  he  peremptorily  rejected.  When  Alexander  Borgia 
ascended  the  papal  throne,  he  sent  an  embassy  to  the  Sultan,  demanding 
the  continuation  of  the  pension  for  the  custody  of  Zizim,  and  offering 
also  to  put  him  to  death  lor  300,000  ducats,  paid  in  one  sum.  Before  an 
answer  could  arrive  from  Constantinople,  the  Pope  was  forced  to  resign 
his  prisoner  to  Charles  VIII.,  King  of  France;  but  Borgia  soon  procured 
the  death  of  the  unfortunate  prince  by  poison.  After  ten  years'  captivity 
»uioug  Christians,  h:  was  murdered  in  1495. 

*•  2 


68  THE    MEMOIRS   OF   PHILIP   DE   COMMLNES.         H482. 

tlie  Turk's,  who  was  then  in  France,  in  the  custody  of  the 
Knights  of  Rhodes,  and  is  now  at  Rome,  in  the  hands  of 
the  Pope.  From  all  which  one  may  be  able  to  judge  of  the 
wisdom  and  greatness  of  our  King,  and  of  the  great  esteem 
and  character  he  bore  in  the  world,  when  spiritual  things, 
dedicated  to  devotion  and  religion,  were  employed  for  the 
lengthening  of  his  life,  as  well  as  things  temporal  and 
secular.  But  all  endeavours  to  prolong  his  life  proved  in- 
effectual ;  his  time  was  come,  and  he  must  needs  follow  his 
predecessors.  Yet  in  one  thing  God  Almighty  favoured 
him  in  a  peculiar  manner,  for,  as  he  had  made  him  more 
prudent,  liberal,  and  virtuous  in  all  things  than  the  contem- 
porary princes,  who  were  his  neighbours  and  enemies,  so  he 
coffered  him  to  survive  them,  though  not  for  a  very  long 
;ime.  For  Charles  Duke  of  Burgundy,  the  Duchess  of 
Vustria  his  daughter,  King  Edward  of  England,  Duke  Ga- 
reas  of  Milan,  and  John  King  of  Arragon,  were  all  dead  a 
few  years  before  him;  but  King  Edward  and  the  Duchess 
of  Austria  died  very  shortly  before  his  decease.  In  all  of 
them  there  was  a  mixture  of  bad  as  well  as  good,  for  they 
were  but  mortals.  But,  without  flattery,  I  may  say  of  our 
King,  that  he  was  possessed  of  more  qualifications  suitable 
to  the  majesty  and  office  of  a  prince  than  any  of  the  rest, 
for  I  had  seen  most  of  them,  and  knew  the  extent  of  their 
abilities. 


Ch.  X. — How  Kin?  Louis  sent  for  his  Son  Charles  a  little  before  his 
Death;  and  the  Precepts  and  Commands  which  he  laid  upon  him  and 
others. 

In  the  year  1482  the  King  desired  to  see  the  Dauphin  his 
son,  whom  he  had  not  seen  for  several  years;  for  besides  his 
being  of  opinion  that  it  was  better  for  his  son's  health  to 
have  but  few  come  near  him,  he  was  afraid  lest  he  should 
be  taken  out  of  his  management,  and  made  the  occ  ision 
for  some  conspiracy  against  him,  as  had  been  done  by  himself 
against  his  father,  King  Charles  VII.,  when,  at  eleven*  years 
of  age,  he  was  taken   away  by  some  lords  of  the  kingdom, 

*  Louis  XI.  was  nearly  seventeen  years  old  at  the  time  of  the  Pr*« 
gueric,  having  been  born  in  July,  1423. 


1483.]  THE   KING   SENDS   FOR   HIS   SOK.  61 

and  engaged  in  a  war  called  the  Praguerie*,  which  lasted 
not  long,  and  was  merely  a  court  faction. 

Ahove  all  things,  he  recommended  to  the  Dauphin  cer- 
tain of  his  servants,  and  laid  his  commands  expressly  upon 
him  not  to  change  any  of  his  officers,  declaring  that  upon 
the  death  of  his  father  Charles  VII.,  and  his  own  accession 
to  the  throne,  he  had  imprudently  dismissed  all  the  good 
officers  of  the  kingdom,  hoth  military  and  civil,  who  had 
assisted  his  father  in  the  conquest  of  Normandy  and  Guy- 
enne,  served  him  in  the  expulsion  of  the  English,  and  con- 
tributed much  to  the  restoration  of  peace  and  tranquillity 
throughout  the  kingdom  ;  which  rash  method  of  proceeding 
proved  highly  to  his  prejudice,  for  it  was  the  foundation  of 
the  war  called  the  Public  Good,  which  I  mentioned  beforef? 
and  which  had  like  to  have  cost  him  his  crown.  Soon  after 
the  King  had  given  this  advice  to  his  son,  and  concluded  the 
marriage  |  above  mentioned,  upon  a  Monday  §  the  illness 
seized  him  of  which  he  died,  and  it  lasted  until  the  Saturday 
following,  the  last  day  but  one  of  August,  1483  ;  I  was 
present  at  the  termination  of  his  illness,  and  therefore  I 
think  myself  entitled  to  say  something  of  his  death. 

Not  long  after  his  being  seized  with  this  last  fit,  he  was 
deprived  of  his  speech,  as  he  had  been  formerly  ;  and  though 
he  recovered  that  again,  yet  he  found  himself  much  weaker 
than  he  had  ever  been  (though  indeed  he  was  so  weak  before 
that  he  had  scarce  strength  to  lift  his  hand  to  his  mouth), 
and  he  became  so  meagre  and  lean,  that  every  one  who  saw 
him  pitied  him.  The  King,  perceiving  he  had  not  long  to 
live,  sent  for  the  Lord  de  Beau;eu  (who  had  married  his 
daughter,  and  is  now  Duke  of  Bourbon),  and  commanded  him 
to  »o  to  Amboise,  to  his  son  the  king,  as  he  called  him.  He 
recommended  his  son  to  him,  and  all  his  servants,  and  gave 

*  The  Praguerie  (so  called  in  allusion  to  the  Hussite  wars  in  Bohe- 
mia) was  a  rebellion  of  the  nobles  against  Charles  VII.,  in  consequence 
of  Irs  having  established  a  regular  army,  in  order  to  drive  the  maraud- 
ing free-companies  out  of  the  kingdom.  The  vigorous  measures  taken 
by  Charles  to  suppress  this  insurrection  put  an  end  to  the  war  in  lesa 
than  six  months. 

t  Sec  Book  I.  Chaps.  2 — 14.  of  these  Memoirs. 

£  The  marriage  of  the  Dauphin  to  the  Princess  Margaret  of  Flanders 

§  Monday,  the  25th  of  August,  M83      The  King  died  on  Saturday, 


the  30th  of  August 


r  d 


70  THE    MEMOIRS   OF    PHILIP   DE    C  >MMINES.  £1483. 

him  the  charge  and  government  of  the  young  king,  and 
made  him  promise,  for  several  good  reasons,  not  to  permit 
certain  persons  to  come  near  him ;  and,  if  the  Lord  de 
Leaujeu  had  observed  his  commands  strictly,  or  at  least  the 
best  part  of  them,  (for  some  were  contradictory  and  not  to 
be  observed,)  I  am  of  opinion,  considering  what  has  since 
happened,  it  had  been  much  better  both  for  the  kingdom  and 
himself. 

Alter  this  he  sent  the  chancellor*,  with  all  that  were 
under  him,  to  carry  the  seals  to  the  king  his  son.  He  also 
sent  him  some  archers  of  his  guard,  several  of  his  captains, 
the  officers  of  his  hounds  and  hawks,  and  all  others  in  charge 
of  his  sports ;  and  he  desired  all  that  were  going  to  Am- 
boise  to  pay  their  respects  to  the  king  his  son,  to  be  faith- 
ful and  true  to  him ;  and  by  every  one  he  sent  him  some 
message  or  other,  hut  more  especially  by  Stephen  de  Versf, 
who  had  brought  up  the  young  king,  serving  him  in  quality 
of  first  gentleman-  of  his  bed-chamber,  and  had  been  made 
Bailiff  of  Meaux  by  King  Louis.  After  the  recovery  of  his 
speech,  his  senses  never  failed  him,  and  indeed  were  never 
so  quick,  for  he  had  a  continual  looseness  upon  him,  which 
kept  the  vapours  from  ascending  to  his  head.  In  all  his 
sickness  he  never  complained,  as  most  other  people  do  when 
they  are  ill  ;  at  least  1  am  of  that  nature,  and  I  have  known 
many  of  the  same  temper ;  and  the  common  opinion  is  that 
complaining  alleviates  our  pain. 


Ch.  XI. — A  Comparison  of  the  Troubles  and  Sorrows  which  King 
Louis  suffered,  with  those  he  had  brought  upon  other  People  ;  with  a 
Continuation  of  his  Transactions  till  the  Time  of  his  Death. — 1483. 

He  was  continually  discoursing  on  some  subject  or  another, 
and  always  with  a  great  deal  of  sense  and  judgment.     His 

*  William,  Lord  of  Roehcfort.     See  Vol.  I.  p.  16. 

f  Stephen  de  Vesc,  knight,  belonged  to  a  noble  family  of  Lower 
Dauphiny.  He  was  one  of  the  chamberlains  of  Charles  V11I.,  who  ap- 
pointed him  Seneschal  of  Beaucaire  and  Jvismes,  on  the  3rd  of  March, 
1490.  He  afterwards  became  President  of  the  Chambei  ot  Accounts} 
and  was  dignified  with  the  bat^>n  <  f  Constable  of  France  on  the  King'a 
entrance  into  Maples,    lie  died  ou  the  6ih  of  October,  1501. 


1483.]  the  king's  troubles.  71 

last  illness  (as  I  said  before)  continued  from  Monday  to 
Saturday  night.  Upon  which  account  I  will  now  make 
comparison  between  the  evils  and  sorrows  which  he  brought 
upon  others,  and  those  which  he  suffered  in  his  own  person: 
for  I  hope  his  torments  here  on  earth,  have  translated  him 
into  Paradise,  and  will  be  a  great  part  of  his  purgatory  : 
and  if,  in  respect  of  their  greatness  and  duration,  his  suffer- 
ings were  inferior  to  those  he  had  brought  upon  other  people, 
yet,  if  you  consider  the  grandeur  and  dignity  of  his  office, 
and  that  he  had  never  before  suffered  anything  in  his  own 
person,  but  had  been  obeyed  by  all  people,  as  if  all  Europe 
had  been  created  for  no  other  end,  but  to  serve  and  be  com- 
manded by  him  ;  yon  will  find  that  little  which  he  endured 
was  so  contrary  to  his  nature  and  custom  that  it  was  more 
grievous  for  him  to  bear. 

His  chief  hope  and  confidence  was  placed  in  the  good 
hermit  I  spoke  of  (who  was  at  Plessis,  and  had  come  thither 
from  Calabria)  ;  he  sent  continually  to  him,  believing  it 
was  in  his  power  to  prolong  Lis  life  if  he  pleased;  for,  not- 
withstanding all  his  precepts,  he  had  great  hopes  of  recover- 
ing ;  and  if  it  had  so  happened,  he  would  quickly  have  dis- 
persed the  throng  he  had  sent  to  Amboise,  to  wait  upon  the 
new  king.  Finding  his  hopes  rested  so  strongly  upon  this 
hermit,  it  was  the  advice  of  a  certain  grave  divine*,  and 
others  who  were  about  him,  that  it  should  be  declared  to 
him  that  there  was  no  hope  left  for  him  but  in  the  mercy  of 
God;  and  it  was  also  agreed  among  them,  that  his  physician, 
Master  James  Coctier  (in  whom  he  had  great  confidence), 
should  be  present  when  this  declaration  was  made  him.  This 
Coctier  received  of  him  every  month  ten  thousand  crowns, 
in  the  hope  that  he  would  lengthen  his  life.  This  resolution 
was  taken  to  the  end  that  he  should  lay  aside  all  other 
thoughts,  and  apply  himself  wholly  to  the  settlement  of  his 
conscience.  And  as  he  had  advanced  them,  as  it  were,  in  an 
instant,  and  against  all  reason,  to  employments  beyond  their 
capacities,  so  they  took  upon  them  fearlessly  to  tell  him  a 
thing  that  had  been  more  proper   for  other  people   to  com- 

*  M.  (3c  Barante  (x.  82.)  says  this  divine  was  Jean  de  Rely,  doctor 
in  theology,  and  canon  of  Paris.  Gabriel  Naude  asserts,  on  the  con- 
trary, that  his  name  was  Philippe,  and  that  he  was  a  monk  of  the  Abhe^ 
ot  S>t,  Mania. 

V  4 


72  THE   MEMOIRS  OF   PniLli"   OE   COMMINES.  [1483. 

municate  ;  nor  did  they  observe  that  reverence  and  respect 
towards  him,  which  was  proper  in  such  a  case,  and  would 
have  been  used  by  those  persons  who  had  been  brought  up 
with  him,  or  by  those  whom,  in  a  mere  whim,  he  had  re- 
moved from  court  but  a  little  before.  But,  as  he  had  sent  a 
sharp  message  of  death  to  two  great  persons  whom  lie  had 
formerly  beheaded  (the  Duke  of  Nemours*,  and  the  Count 
of  St.  Paul  f),  by  commissioners  deputed  on  purpose,  who 
in  plain  terms  told  them  their  sentence,  appointed  them  con- 
fessors to  arrange  their  consciences,  and  acquainted  them 
that  in  a  few  hours  they  must  resolve  to  die  ;  so  with  the 
same  bluntness,  and  without  the  least  circumstance  of  intro- 
duction, these  imprudent  persons  told  our  King  :  "  Sire,  we 
must  do  our  duty ;  do  not  place  your  hopes  any  longer  in 
this  holy  hermit,  or  anything  else,  for  you  are  a  dead  man. 
Think  therefore  upon  your  conscience,  for  there  is  no  remedy 
left."  Every  one  added  some  short  saying  to  the  same  pur- 
pose ;  to  which  he  answered,  "  I  hope  God  will  assist  me, 
for  perhaps  I  am  not  so  ill  as  you  imagine." 

What  sorrow  was  this  to  him  to  hear  this  news  !  Never 
man  was  more  fearful  of  death,  nor  used  more  means  to  pre- 
vent it.  He  had,  all  his  life  long,  commanded  and  requested 
his  servants,  and  me  among  the  rest,  that  whenever  we  saw 
him  in  any  danger  of  death,  we  should  not  tell  him  of  it,  but 
merely  admonish  him  to  confess  himself,  without  ever  men- 
tioning that  cruel  and  shucking  word  Death  ;  for  he  did  not 
believe  he  could  ever  endure  to  hear  so  cruel  a  sentence. 
However,  he  endured  that  virtuously,  and  several  more 
things  equally  terrible,  when  he  was  ill;  and  indeed  he  bore 
them  better  than  any  man  I  ever  saw  die.  He  spoke  several 
things,  which  were  to  be  delivered  to  his  son,  whom  he 
called  king  ;  and  he  confessed  himself  very  devoutly,  said 

*  See  note,  Vol.  I.  p.  1 6. 

f  See  Book  IV.  Chap.  12.  The  constable's  trial  lasted  from  the  27th 
of  November,  1475,  to  the  19th  of  December  following.  His  sentence 
was  read  to  him  in  these  terms  : — "  You  have  been  long  in  the  custody  of 
the  King,  and  you  have  been  diligently  interrogated  with  regard  to  the 
extreme  offences  you  have  committed.  The  sentence  of  the  Court  of 
Parliament  against  you  is,  that  you  be  publicly  beheaded  and  put  to 
death  to-day  on  the  Greve,  opposite  the  Hotel  de  Ville."  At  these 
words  the  constable  cried  aloud  and  said  :  "  My  God !  what  news  I 
this  is  a  hard  sentence  !"  —  Molinex,  i.  183. 


1 483. J  the  king's  suspicions.  73 

several  prayers  suitable  to  the  sacraments  he  received,  and 
called  for  the  sacraments  himself.  He  spoke  as  judiciously  as 
if  he  had  never  been  ill,  discoursed  of  all  things  which  might 
be  necessary  for  his  son's  instruction,  and  among  the  rest  gave 
orders  that  the  Lord  des  Cordes  should  not  stir  from  his 
son  for  six  months;  and  that  he  should  be  desired  to  attempt 
nothing  against  Calais,  or  elsewhere,  declaring,  that  though 
he  had  designed  himself  to  undertake  such  enterprises  for 
the  benefit  of  both  the  king  and  the  kingdom,  yet  they  were 
very  dangerous,  especially  tliat  against  Calais,  because  the 
English  might  resent  it  ;  and  he  left  it  in  especial  charge, 
that  for  five  or  six  years  after  his  death,  they  should,  above 
all  things,  preserve  the  kingdom  in  peace,  which  during  his 
life  he  had  never  suffered.  And  indeed  it  was  no  more  thun 
was  necessary ;  for,  though  the  kingdom  was  large  and  fer- 
tile, yet  it  was  grown  very  poor,  upon  account  of  the  march- 
ing and  counter-marching  of  the  soldiers  up  and  down,  in 
their  passage  from  one  country  to  another,  as  they  have  done 
since,  to  an  even  worse  extent.  He  also  ordered  that  nothing 
should  be  attempted  against  Bretagne,  but  that  Duke  Francis 
should  be  suffered  to  live  in  peace;  that  both  he  and  his 
neighbours  might  be  without  fear,  and  the  king  and  king- 
dom remain  free  from  wars,  till  the  king  should  be  of  age, 
to  take  upon  himself  the  administration  of  affairs. 

You  have  already  heard  with  what  indiscretion  and  blunt- 
ness  they  acquainted  the  king  with  his  approaching  death  ; 
which  I  have  mentioned  in  a  more  particular  manner, 
because  in  a  preceding  paragraph  I  began  to  compare  the 
evils,  which  he  had  made  others  suffer,  who  lived  under  his 
dominion,  with  those  he  endured  himself  before  his  death  ; 
that  it  might  appear  that,  though  they  were  not  perhaps  of 
so  long  a  duration,  yet  they  were  fully  as  great  and  terrible, 
considering  his  station  and  dignity,  which  required  more 
obedience  than  any  private  person,  and  had  found  more  ;  so 
that  i he  least  opposition  was  a  great  torment  to  him.  Some 
five  or  six  months  before  his  death,  he  began  to  suspect  every- 
body, especially  those  who  were  most  capable  and  deserving 
of  the  administration  of  affairs.  He  was  afraid  of  his  son, 
and  caused  him  to  be  kept  close,  so  that  no  man  saw  or  dis- 
coursed with  him,  but  by  his  special  command.  At  last  he 
grew  suspicious  of  his  daughter,  and  of  his  son-in-law  the 


74  THE   MEMOIRS   OF   PIIILIP   DE   COMMINES.  [_1483 

Duke  of  Bourbon,  and  required  an  account  of  what  persons 
came  to  speak  with  them  at  Plessis,  and  broke  up  a  council 
which  the  Duke  of  Bourbon  was  holding  there,  by  his 
order. 

At  the  time  that  the  Count  of  Dunois*  and  the  said  Duke 
of  Bourbon  returned  from  conducting  the  ambassadors,  who 
had  been  at  Amboise  to  attend  the  marriage  of  the  Dauphin  and 
the  young  queen,  the  King  being  in  the  gallery  at  Plessis, 
and  seeing  them  enter  with  a  great  train  into  the  castle, 
called  for  a  captain  of  the  guards,  and  commanded  him  to  go 
and  search  the  servants  of  those  lords,  to  see  whether  they 
had  any  arms  under  their  robes ;  and  ordered  him  to  do  it 
in  discourse,  so  as  no  notice  might  be  taken.  Behold,  then, 
if  he  bad  caused  many  to  live  under  him  in  continual  fear 
and  apprehension,  whether  it  was  not  returned  to  him  again; 
for  of  whom  could  he  be  secure  when  he  was  afraid  of  his 
son-in-law,  his  daughter,  and  his  own  son  ?  I  speak  this  not 
only  of  him,  but  of  all  other  princes  who  desire  to  be  feared, 
that  vengeance  never  falls  on  them  till  they  grow  old,  and 
then,  as  a  just  penance,  they  are  afraid  of  everybody  them- 
selves ;  and  what  grief  must  it  have  been  to  this  poor  King 
to  be  tormented  with  such  terrors  and  passions  ? 

He  was  still  attended  by  his  physician,  Master  James 
Coctier,  to  whom  in  five  months'  time  he  had  given  fifty -four 
thousand  crowns  in  ready  money,  besides  the  bishopric  of 
Amiens  for  his  nephewf,  and  other  great  offices  and  estates 
for  himself  and  his  friends;  yet  this  doctor  used  him  very 
roughly  indeed  ;  one  would  not  have  given  such  outrageous 
language  to  one's  servants,  as  he  gave  the  King,  who  stood  in 
such  awe  of  him,  that  he  durst  not  forbid  him  his  presence.  It 
is  true  he  complained  of  his  impudenceafterwards,  but  he  durst 
not  change  him  as  he  had  done  all  the  rest  of  his  servants  ; 
because  he  had  told  him  after  a  most  audacious  manner  one 
day,  "I  know  well  that  some  time  or  other  you  will  dismiss  me 

*  Francis  of  Orleans,  Count  of  Longueville  and  Dunois,  was  born  in 
1447  ;  married  Agnes  of  Savoy;  was  appointed  Governor  of  Dauphiny 
by  Charles  VIII.  in  1483,  and  Grand  Chamberlain  of  France  in  1485; 
and  died  on  the  25th  of  November.  1491.  He  was  a  son  of  the  celebrated 
Bastard  of  Orleans,  so  distinguished  in  the  wars  against  the  English  in 
the  time  of  Joan  of  Arc. 

f  Pierre  Verse,  appointed  to  the  bishopric  of  Amiens,  on  the  16th  oi 
August.  1482. 


1483.]  the  king's  cruelties.  73 

from  court,  as  you  have  done  the  rest ;  but  be  sure  (and  he 
confirmed  it  with  a  great  oath)  you  shall  not  live  eight  days 
sifter  it*  ;"  with  which  expression  the  king  was  so  terrified, 
that  ever  after  he  did  nothing  but  flatter  and  bribe  him,  which 
must  needs  have  been  a  great  mortification  to  a  prince  who 
had  been  humbly  obeyed  all  his  life  by  so  many  good  and 
brave  men. 

The  King  had  ordered  several  cruel  prisons  to  be  made ; 
some  were  cages  of  iron,  and  some  of  wood,  but  all  were 
covered  with  iron  plates  both  within  and  without,  with 
terrible  locks,  about  eight  feet  wide  and  seven  high  ;  the  first 
contriver  of  them  was  the  Bishop  of  Verdunf ,  who  was 
immediately  put  in  the  first  of  them  that  was  made,  where 
he  continued  fourteen  years.  Many  bitter  curses  he  has  had 
since  for  his  invention,  and  some  from  me  as  I  lay  in  one  of 
them  eight  months  together  in  the  minority  of  our  pre- 
sent King.  He  also  ordered  heavy  and  terrible  fetters  to  be 
made  in  Germany,  and  particularly  a  certain  ring  for  the 
feet,  which  was  extremely  hard  to  be  opened,  and  fitted  like 
an  iron  collar,  with  a  thick  weighty  chain,  and  a  great  globe 
of  iron  at  the  end  of  it,  most  unreasonably  heavy,  which 
engines  were  called  the  King's  Nets.  However,  I  have  seen 
many  eminent  and  deserving  persons  in  these  prisons,  with 
these  nets  about  their  legs,  who  afterwards  came  forth  with 
great  joy  and  honour,  and  received  great  rewards  from  the 
King.     Among  the  rest,  a  sonj  of  the  Lord  de  la  Grutuse, 

*  The  same,  or  nearly  the  same  story  is  told  of  Tiberius,  who  demanded 
of  a  soothsayer,  Thrasullus,  if  lie  knew  the  day  of  his  own  death,  and  re- 
ceived for  answer,  it  would  take  place  just  three  days  before  that  of  the 
emperor.  On  this  reply,  instead  of  being  thrown  over  the  roeks  into 
the  sea,  as  bad  been  the  tyrant's  first  intention,  he  was  taken  great  care 
of  for  the  rest  of  his  life. — Taciti  Annates,  vi.  21. 

t  Guillaume  de  Haraucourt.     See  Vol.  I.  p.  165. 

X  Jean  i!e  Bruges,  Lord  of  Avelghem  and  Espiercs,  and  afterward£ 
Lord  of  La  Gruthuse,  and  Prince  of  Steenhuys,  in  Flanders.  He  was 
knighted  by  Duke  Maximilian  of  Austria,  on  the  7th  of  August,  1479, 
just  before  the  battle  of  Guinegatte,  in  which  he  was  taken  prisoner. 
Louis  XI.  afterwards  appointed  him  one  of  his  chamberlains,  and  mar- 
ried him  to  Pence  de  Bueil,  daughter  of  the  Count  of  Sancerre.  In 
1484,  Charles  VIII.  appointed  him  Seneschal  of  Anjou  ;  in  1498  he 
was  made  Grand  Master  of  the  crossbow-men  of  France  ;  and  in  1491 
he  was  raised  to  the  office  of  Captain  of  the  Louvre.  He  died  on  tha 
8th  of  August.  1512     Til  regard  to  his  father,  see  note,  Vol,  I.  p.  193. 


76  THE    MEMOIRS   OF    PHILIP   DE    COMMIKES.  [1483. 

in  Flanders  (who  was  taken  in  battle),  whom  the  king  mar* 
ried  very  honourably  afterwards,  made  him  his  chamberlain, 
and  seneschal  of  Anjou,  and  gave  him  the  command  of  a 
hundred  lances.  The  Lord  de  Piennes*,  and  the  Lord  de 
Vergyf,  both  prisoners  of  war,  also  had  commands  given 
them  in  his  army,  were  made  his  or  his  son's  chamberlains, 
and  had  great  estates  bestowed  on  them.  Monsieur  de 
RichebourgJ,  the  constable's  brother,  had  the  same  good  for- 
tune, as  did  also  one  Roquebertin§,  a  Catalonian,  likewise 
prisoner  of  war  ;  besides  others  of  various  countries,  too 
numerous  to  be  mentioned  in  this  place. 

This  by  way  of  digression.  But  to  return  to  my  principal 
design.  As  in  his  time  this  barbarous  variety  of  prisons 
was  invented,  so  before  he  died  he  himself  was  in  greater 
torment,  and  more  terrible  apprehension  than  those  whom 
he  had  imprisoned  ;  which  I  look  upon  as  a  great  mercy 
towards  him,  and  as  part  of  his  purgatory  ;  and  I  have 
mentioned  it  here  to  show  that  there  is  no  person,  of  what 
station  or  dignity  soever,  but  suffers  some  time  or  other, 
either  publicly  or  privately,  especially  if  he  has  caused  other 
people  to  suffer.  The  king,  towards  the  latter  end  of  his 
days,  caused  his  castle  of  Plessis-les-Tours  to  be  encom- 
passed with  great  bars  of  iron  in  the  form  of  thick  grating, 
and  at  the  four  corners  of  the  house  four  sparrow-nests  of 
iron,  strong,  massy,  and  thick,  were  built.  The  grates  were 
without  the  wall  on  the  other  side  of  the  ditch,  and  sank  to 
the  bottom.  Several  spikes  of  iron  were  fastened  into  the 
wall,  set  as  thick  by  one  another  as  was  possible,  and  each 
furnished  with  three  or  four  points.  He  likewise  placed  ten 
bow-men   in  the  ditches,    to    shoot  at  any  man  that  durst 

*  Louis  de  Halewin,  Lord  of  Piennes,  having  been  made  prisoner  by 
the  French,  some  time  after  the  siege  of  Neuss,  entered  the  service  of 
Louis  XL,  who  appointed  him  Captain  of  Montlhery  in  1480.  In  1486 
Charles  VIII.  gave  him  the  government  of  Bethune  ;  and  in  1512 
Louis  XII.  appointed  him  Governor  and  Lieutenant-Gencral  of  Picardy. 
He  died  in  1518. 

f  The  Lord  of  Vergy  was  made  prisoner  in  1477.  See  note,  Vol.  I 
p.  362. 

f.  The  Lord  of  Richebourg,  brother  of  the  Constable  of  St.  Paul,  was 
made  prisoner  in  1475.      See  Vol-  I.  pp.  245 — 249. 

§  Pierre  de  Roquebertin,  Knight,  Councillor  and  Chamberlain  of  Louil 
XL  Governor  of  iioussillon  and  Cerdague,  and  Lord  of  Sonimieres. 


MS3.J  CASTLE   OF   PLESSIS-1  ES-TOURS.  77 

approach  the  castle  before  the  opening  of  the  gates  ;  and 
lie  ordered  they  should  lie  in  the  ditches,  but  retire  to  the 
sparrow-nests  upon  occasion.  lie  was  sensible  enough  that 
tins  fortification  was  too  weak  to  keep  out  an  army,  or  any 
great  body  of  men,  but  lie  had  no  fear  of  such  an  attack  ; 
his  great  apprehension  was,  that  some  of  the  nobility  of  his 
kingdom,  having  intelligence  within,  might  attempt  to  make 
themselves  musters  of  the  castle  by  night,  and  having  pos- 
sessed themselves  partly  of  it  by  favour,  and  partly  by  force, 
might  deprive  him  of  the  regal  authority,  ami  take  upon 
themselves  the  administration  of  public  affairs;  upon  pre- 
tence he  was  incapable  of  business,  and  no  longer  fit  to 
govern. 

The  gate  of  the  Plessis  was  never  opened,  nor  the  draw- 
bridge let  down,  before  eight  o'clock  in  the  morning,  at 
which  time  the  officers  were  let  in  ;  and  the  captains  ordered 
their  guards  to  their  several  posts,  with  pickets  of  archers 
in  the  middle  of  the  court,  as  in  a  town  upon  the  frontiers 
that  is  closely  guarded:  nor  was  any  person  admitted  to 
enter  except  by  the  wicket  and  with  the  king's  knowledge, 
unless  it  were  the  steward  of  his  household,  and  such  persons 
as  were  not  admitted  into  the  royal  presence.* 

*  Sir  Walter  Scott's  description  of  the  Royal  Castle  of  Plessis  is  suffi- 
ciently accurate  to  deserve  insertion.  "  There  were  three  external  walls, 
battlemented and  turreted  from  space  to  space,  and  at  each  angle;  the 
second  enclosure  rising  higher  than  the  first,  and  being  built  so  as  to 
command  the  exterior  defence,  in  case  it  was  won  by  the  enemy  ;  and 
being  again,  in  the  same  manner,  itself  commanded  by  the  third  and 
innermost  barrier.  Around  the  external  wall  was  sunk  a  ditch  ol 
about  twenty  feet  in  depth,  supplied  with  water  by  a  dam-head  on  the 
River  Cher,  or  rather  on  one  of  its  tributary  branches.  In  front  of  the 
second  enclosure  ihero  ran  another  fosse,  and  a  third  of  the  same  un- 
usual dimensions  was  led  between  the  second  and  the  innermost  enclo- 
sure. The  verge,  both  of  the  outer  and  inner  circuit  of  this  triple  moat, 
was  strongly  fenced  with  palisades  of  iron,  serving  the  purpose  of  what 
are  called  chevaux  cle-fii.se  in  modern  fortification  ;  the  top  of  each  pale 
being  divided  into  a  cluster  of  sharp  spikes,  which  seemed  to  render  any 
attempt  to  climb  over  an  act  of  self-destruction. 

"  From  within  the  innermost  enclosure  arose  the  castle  itself,  contain- 
ing buildings  of  different  periods,  crowded  around,  and  united  with  the 
ancient  and  grim-looking  donjon-keep,  which  was  older  than  any  of 
them,  and  which  rose  like  a  black  Ethiopian  giant,  high  into  the  air, 
while  the  absence  of  any  windows  larger  than  shot-holes,  irregularly 
disposed  for  defence,  gave  the  spectator  the   same  unpleasant  feeliuij 


78  THE    MEMOIRS   OP   PHILIP   DE   COMMINES.  [1483. 

Is  it  possible  then  to  keep  a  prince  (with  any  regard  to 
his  quality)  in  a  closer  prison  than  he  kept  himself?  The 
cages  which  were  made  for  other  people  were  about  eight  feet 
square  ;  and  he  (though  s<>  great  a  monarch)  had  but  a  small 
court  of  the  castle  to  walk  in,  and  seldom  made  use  of  that, 
but  generally  kept  himself  in  the  gallery,  out  of  which  he 
went  into  the  chambers  on  his  way  to  mass,  but  never  passed 
through  the  court.  Who  can  deny  that  he  was  a  sufferer 
as  well  as  his  neighbours,  considering  how  he  was  locked 
up  and  guarded,  afraid  of  his  own  children  and  relations, 
and  changing  every  day  those  very  servants  whom  he  had 
brought  up  and  advanced ;  and  though  they  owed  all  their 
preferment  to  him,  yet  he  durst  not  trust  any  of  them,  but 
shut  himself  up  in  tnose  strange  chains  and  enclosures.  If 
the  place  where  he  confined  himself  was  larger  than  a 
common  prison,  he  also  was  much  greater  than  common 
prisoners. 

which  we  experience  on  looking  at  a  blind  man.  The  other  buildings 
seemed  scarcely  better  adapted  for  the  purposes  of  comfort,  for  the  win- 
dows opened  to  an  inner  and  enclosed  courtyard  ;  so  that  the  whole 
external  front  looked  much  more  like  that  of  a  prison  than  a  palace. 

"  This  formidable  place  had  but  one  entrance;  at  least  none  could  be 
seen  along  the  spacious  front,  except  where  in  the  centre  of  the  tirst  and 
outward  boundary  arose  two  strong  towers,  the  usual  defences  of  a 
gateway,  with  their  ordinary  accompaniments,  portcullis  and  draw- 
bridge. Similar  entrance-towers  were  visible  on  the  second  and  third 
bounding  wall;  but  not  on  the  same  line  with  those  on  the  outward  cir- 
cuit, because  the  passage  did  not  cut  right  through  the  whole  three  en- 
closures at  the  same  point,  but,  on  the  contrary,  those  who  entered  had 
to  proceed  nearly  thirty  yards  betwixt  the  first  and  second  wall,  exposed, 
if  their  purpose  were  hostile,  to  missiles  from  both  ;  and  again,  when  the 
second  boundary  was  passed,  they  must  make  a  similar  digression  from 
the  straight  line,  in  order  to  attain  the  portal  of  the  third  and  innermost 
enclosure  ;  so  that,  before  gaining  the  outer  court,  which  ran  along  the 
front  of  the  building,  two  narrow  and  dangerous  defiles  were  to  be  tra- 
versed under  a  flanking  fire  of  artillery,  and  three  gates,  defended  in  the 
strongest  manner  known  to  the  age,  were  to  be  successively  forced. 

"  The  environs  of  the  castle,  except  the  single  winding  path  by  which 
the  portal  might  be  safely  approached,  were  surrounded  with  every  spe- 
ties  of  hidden  pitfall,  snare,  and  gin,  to  entrap  the  wretch  who  should 
renture  thither  without  a  guide ;  and  upon  the  walls  were  constructed 
certain  cradles  of  iron,  called  sparrow-nests,  from  which  the  sentinels, 
h'ho  were  regularly  posted  there,  could,  without  being  exposed  to  any 
risk,  take  deliberate  aim  at  any  who  should  attempt  to  enter  without  the 
proper  signal  or  piss-word  of  the  de-y." 


1483.]  DEATH   OF   THE    KING.  79 

It  may  be  urged  (hat  other  princes  have  been  more  given 
to  suspicion  than  he,  but  it  was  not  in  our  time;  and,  perhaps, 
their  wisdom  was  not  so  eminent,  nor  were  their  subjects  so 
good.  They  might  too,  probably,  have  been  tyrants,  and 
bloody-minded  ;  but  our  king  never  did  any  person  a  mis- 
chief who  had  not  offended  him  first,  though  I  do  not  say  all 
who  offended  him  deserved  death.  I  have  not  recorded 
these  things  merely  to  represent  our  master  as  a  suspicious 
and  mistrustful  prince;  but  to  show,  that  by  the  patience 
which  he  expressed  in  his  sufferings  (like  those  which  he 
inflicted  on  other  people),  they  may  be  looked  upon,  in  my 
judgment,  as  a  punishment  which  our  Lord  inflicted  upon 
him  in  this  world,  in  order  to  deal  more  mercifully  with  him 
in  the  next,  as  well  in  regard  to  those  things  before-men- 
tioned, as  to  the  distempers  of  his  body,  which  were  great 
and  painful,  and  much  dreaded  by  him  before  they  came 
upon  him;  and,  likewise,  that  those  princes  who  may  be  his 
successors,  may  learn  by  his  example  to  be  more  tender  and 
indulgent  to  their  subjects,  and  less  severe  in  their  punish- 
ments than  our  master  had  been  :  although  I  will  not  censure 
him,  or  say  I  ever  saw  a  better  prince;  for  though  he  op- 
pressed his  subjects  himself,  he  would  never  see  them  injured 
by  anybody  else. 

After  so  many  fears,  sorrows,  and  suspicions,  God,  by  a 
kind  of  miracle,  restored  him  both  in  body  and  mind,  as  is 
His  divine  method  in  such  kind  of  wonders;  for  He  took 
him  out  of  this  miserable  world  in  perfect  health  of  mind, 
and  understanding,  and  memory;  after  having  received  the 
sacraments  himself,  discoursing  without  the  least  twinge  or 
expression  of  pain,  and  repeating  his  paternosters  to  the 
very  last  moment  of  his  life.  He  gave  directions  *  for  his 
own   burial,  appointed  who  should  attend  his  corpse  to  the 

*  These  directions  will  be  found  in  Dupont,  iii.  339  —  344.  Master 
Colin  of  Amiens  is  therein  directed  to  represent  the  king  "  on  his  knees 
on  a  cushion,  with  his  dog  beside  him,  his  hat  in  his  clasped  hands,  his 
sword  by  his  side,  and  his  horn  hanging  behind  his  shoulders.  Let  him 
be  dressed  in  a  hunting  suit,  with  boots  on  his  feet;  and  withal  the 
handsomest  countenance  you  can  make  him,  young  and  smooth;  with 
his  nose  nither  long  and  turned-up  a  little,  as  you  know,  and  do  not 
make  him  bald."  This  effigy  was  to  be  made  of  molten  copper,  and  gilt 
with  ducat  gold;  and  the  sum  to  be  paid  for  it  was  a  thousand  gold 
crowns. 


80  THE   MEMOIRS   OF   PHILIP   DE   COMMINES.  [1483. 

grave,  and  declared  that  he  desired  to  die  on  a  Saturday  of 
all  days  in  the  week  ;  and  that  lie  hoped  Our  Lady  would 
procure  him  that  favour,  for  in  her  he  had  always  placed 
great  trust,  and  served  her  very  devoutly.  And  so  it  hap- 
pened ;  for  he  died  on  Saturday,  the  30th  of  August,  1483, 
at  about  eight  in  the  evening,  in  the  Castle  of  Plessis,  where 
his  illness  seized  him  on  the  Monday  before.  May  Our 
Lord  receive  his  soul,  and  admit  it  unto  His  kingdom  of 
Paradise ! 


*}h  XTI. — A  Digression  concerning  the  Miseries  of  Mankind,  especially 
of  Princes,  by  the  Example  of  those  who  reigned  in  the  Author's 
Time,  and  chiefly  of  King  Louis. 

Small  hopes  and  comfort  ought  poor  and  inferior  people  to 
have  in  this  world,  considering  what  so  great  a  king  suffered 
and  underwent,  and  how  he  was  at  last  forced  to  leave  all,  and 
could  not,  with  all  his  care  and  diligence,  protract  his  life  one 
single  hour.  I  knew  him,  and  was  entertained  in  his  service 
in  the  flower  of  his  age,  and  at  the  height  of  his  prosperity, 
yet  I  never  saw  him  free  from  labour  and  care.  Of  all  diver- 
sions he  loved  hunting  and  hawking  in  their  seasons  ;  but  his 
chief  delight  was  in  dogs.  As  for  ladies,  he  never  meddled 
with  any  in  my  time ;  for  about  the  time  of  my  coming  to 
his  court  he  lost  a  son*,  at  whose  death  he  was  extremely 
afflicted,  and  he  made  a  vow  to  God  in  my  presence  never  to 
have  intercourse  with  any  other  woman  but  the  queen ;  and 
though  this  was  no  more  than  what  he  was  bound  to  do  by 
the  canons  of  the  church,  yet  it  was  much  that  his  self-com- 
mand should  be  so  great,  that  he  should  be  able  to  persevere 
in  his  resolution  so  firmly,  considering  that  the  queen  (though 
an  excellent  princess  in  other  respects)  was  not  a  person  in 
whom  a  man  could  take  any  great  delight. 

In  hunting,  his  eagerness  and  pain  were  equal  to  his  plea- 
sure, for  his  chase  was  the  stag,  which  he  always  ran  down. 

*  This  son's  name  was  Joachim.  He  was  born  on  Tuesday,  the  17th 
of  July,  1459,  at  the  Castle  of  Genappes ;  and  he  died  on  the  29th  of 
Jiuvciuber  in  th".  same  year. 


M83.]  CHARACTER  OF   LOUIS   XL  81 

He  rose  very  early  in  the  morning,  rode  sometimes  a  great 
distance,  and  would  not  leave  his  sport,  let  the  weather  be 
never  so  bad ;  and  when  he  came  home  at  night  he  was  often 
very  weary,  and  generally  in  a  violent  passion  with  some  ot 
his  courtiers  or  huntsmen  ;  for  hunting  is  a  sport  not  always 
to  be  managed  according  to  the  master's  direction ;  yet,  in 
the  opinion  of  most  people,  he  understood  it  as  well  as  any 
prince  of  his  time.  He  was  continually  at  these  sports, 
lodging  in  the  country  villages  to  which  his  recreations  led 
him,  till  he  Avas  interrupted  by  business ;  for  during  the 
most  part  of  the  summer  there  was  constantly  war  between 
him  and  Charles  Duke  of  Burgundy,  and  in  the  winter 
they  made  truces. 

He  was  also  involved  in  some  trouble  about  the  county  of 
Roussillon,  with  John,  King  of  Arragon,  father  of  Peter  of 
Castile,  who  at  present  is  King  of  Spain  ;  for  though  both 
of  them  were  poor,  and  already  at  variance  with  their  sub- 
jects in  Barcelona  and  elsewhere,  and  though  the  son  had 
nothing  but  the  expectation  of  succeeding  to  the  throne  of 
Don  Henry  of  Castile,  his  wife's  brother  (which  fell  to  him 
afterwards),  yet  they  made  considerable  resistance ;  for  that 
province  being  entirely  devoted  to  their  interest,  and  they 
being  universally  beloved  by  the  people,  they  gave  our  king 
abundance  of  trouble,  and  the  war  lasted  till  his  death,  and 
many  brave  men  lost  their  lives  in  it,  and  his  treasury  was 
exhausted  by  it ;  so  that  he  had  but  a  little  time  during  the 
whole  year  to  spend  in  pleasure,  and  even  then  the  fatigues 
he  underwent  were  excessive.  When  his  body  was  at  rest 
his  mind  was  at  work,  for  he  had  affairs  in  several  places  at 
once,  and  would  concern  himself  as  much  in  those  of  his 
neighbours  as  in  his  own,  putting  officers  of  his  own  over 
all  the  great  families  and  endeavouring  to  divide  their 
authority  as  much  as  possible.  When  he  was  at  war  he 
laboured  for  a  peace  or  a  truce,  and  when  he  had  obtained 
it,  he  was  impatient  for  war  again.  He  troubled  himself 
with  many  trifles  in  his  government,  which  he  had  better 
have  let  alone :  but  it  was  his  temper,  and  he  could  not  help 
it ;  besides,  he  had  a  prodigious  memory,  and  he  forgot  no- 
thing, but  knew  everybody,  as  well  in  other  countries  as  in 
his  own. 

Ami,  in  truth,  he  jeemed  better  fitted  to  rile  a  world  than 

VOL.  II.  Q 


82  THE   MEMOIRS   OP   PHILIP   DE   COMMLNFS  [1483 

to  govern  a  single  kingdom.  I  speak  not  of  his  minority,  for 
then  I  was  not  with  him  ;  but  when  he  was  eleven  years 
old,  he  was,  by  the  advice  of  some  of  the  nobility,  and  others 
of  his  kingdom,  embroiled  in  a  war  with  his  father,  Charles 
VII.,  which  lasted  not  long,  and  was  called  the  Praguerie. 
When  he  was  arrived  at  man's  estate,  he  was  married,  much 
against  his  inclination,  to  the  King  of  Scotland's  daughter*; 
and  he  regretted  her  existence  during  the  whole  couise  of 
her  life.  Afterwards,  by  reason  of  the  broils  and  factions  in 
his  father's  court,  he  retired  into  Dauphinyt  (which  was  his 
own),  whither  many  persons  of  quality  followed  him,  and 
indeed  more  than  he  could  entertain.  During  his  residence 
in  Dauphiny  he  married  the  Duke  of  Savoy's  daughter  |, 
and  not  long  after  he  had  great  disputes  with  his  father- 
in-law,  and  a  terrible  war  was  begun  between  them.  His 
father,  King  Charles  VII.,  seeing  his  son  attended  by  so 
many  good  officers,  and  raising  men  at  his  pleasure,  resolved 
to  go  in  person  against  him,  with  a  considerable  body  of 
forces,  in  order  to  disperse  them.  "While  he  was  upon  his 
march  he  put  out  proclamations,  requiring  them  all,  as  his 
subjects,  under  great  penalties,  to  repair  to  him ;  and  many 
obeyed,  to  the  great  displeasure  of  the  Dauphin,  who,  finding 
his  father  incensed,  though  he  was  strong  enough  to  resist, 
resolved  to  retire,  and  leave  that  country  to  him ;  and  ac- 
cordingly he  removed,  with  but  a  slender  retinue,  into  Bur- 
gundy, to  Duke  Philip's  court,  who  received  him  honourably, 
furnished  him  nobly,  and  maintained  him§  and  his  principal 

*  Margaret,  daughter  of  James  I.,  King  of  Scotland.  She  was  mar- 
ried to  the  Dauphin  on  the  24th  of  June,  1436;  and  died  on  the  16th 
of  August,  1444.  Her  lot  in  France  was  singularly  wretched,  as  she 
was  treated  by  her  husband  with  marked  contempt  and  dislike.  The 
story  of  her  adventure  with  Alain  Chartier  is  well  known.  Finding  the 
famous  poet  asleep  in  a  saloon  of  the  palace,  she  stooped  down  and  kissed 
him,  observing  to  her  ladies,  who  were  somewhat  astonished  at  her  pro- 
ceeding, that  she  did  not  kiss  the  man,  but  the  mouth  which  had  uttered 
so  many  fine  things. 

f  In  the  year  1446.     See  Vol.  I.  p.  60. 

J  Charlotte,  daughter  of  Louis,  Duke  of  Savoy,  was  married  to  the 
Dauphin  in  March,  1451;  and  died  on  the  1st  of  December,  1483. 

§  The  Duke  of  Burgundy  granted  the  Dauphin  a  monthly  pension  of 
2000  francs;  to  theDauphiness  he  allowed  1000  gold  crowns  per  month; 
to  the  Lord  of  Montauban,  500  crowns;  to  the  Marshal  of  Dauphiny,  a 
similar  sum;  and  to  others  according  to  their  degiee. 


1483.]  CHARACTER   OF   LOCIS   XI.  83 

servants  (as  the  Count  de  Comminges*,  the  Lord  de  Mon- 
taubanf,  and  others),  by  way  of  pensions,  and  to  the  rest  he 
gave  presents,  as  he  saw  occasion,  during  the  whole  time  of 
their  residence  there.  However,  the  Dauphin  entertained  sa 
many  at  his  own  expense,  that  his  money  often  failed,  to  his 
great  disgust  and  mortification ;  for  he  was  forced  to  bor- 
row J,  or  his  people  would  have  forsaken  him,  which  is 
certainly  a  great  affliction  to  a  prince  who  was  utterly  unac- 
customed to  those  straits.  So  that  during  his  residence  at 
the  court  of  Burgundy  he  had  his  anxieties,  for  he  was  con- 
strained to  cajole  the  duke  and  his  ministers,  lest  they  should 
think  he  was  too  burdensome,  and  had  laid  too  long  upon 
their  hands,  for  he  had  been  with  them  six§  years,  and  his 
father,  King  Charles,  was  constantly  pressing  and  soliciting 
the  Duke  of  Burgundy,  by  his  ambassadors,  either  to  deliver 
him  up  to  him,  or  to  banish  him  out  of  his  dominions. ||  And 
this,  you  may  believe,  gave  the  Dauphin  some  uneasy  thoughts, 
and  would  not  suffer  him  to  be  idle.  In  which  season  of  his 
life,  then,  was  it  that  he  may  be  said  to  have  enjoyed  himself? 
I  believe  from  his  infancy  and  innocence  to  his  death,  his 
whole  life  was  nothing  but  one  continued  scene  of  troubles 
and  fatigues  ^f;  and  I  am   of  opinion,  that  if  all  the  days 

*  John,  Bastard  of  Armagnac,  was  created  Count  of  Coraminges  and 
Marshal  of  France  in  1461,  and  died  in  1473. 

f  See  Vol.  I.  p.  19. 

j  He  once  borrowed  thirty  crowns  from  the  Lord  de  Sassenage,  to 
whom  he  gave  the  following  receipt:  "We,  Louis,  eldest  son  of  the  King 
of  France,  Dauphin  of  Viennois,  confess  that  we  owe  to  James,  Lord 
of  Sassenage,  the  sum  of  thirty  crowns  for  a  black  horse,  which  he  has 
handed  over  and  delivered,  by  our  order,  to  Henry  Guerin,  to  whom  we 
have  given  it:  which  sum  of  thirty  crowns  we  promise  to  pay  him  before 
Christm  s  next.  In  witness  whereof  we  have  signed  these  presents." 
The  Dauphiness,  on  her  accession  to  the  throne  of  France,  was  obliged 
to  borrow  the  palfreys  of  the  Countess  of  Charolais  for  her  journey. — 
Dlpont,  ii.  275. 

§  He  remained  there  only  five  years. 

||  On  learning  the  reception  given  to  Louis  by  the  Duke  of  Burgundy, 
Charles  VII.  said:  "  Our  brother  Philip  has  taken  home  a  fox  who  will 
eat  his  chickens." 

%  Chastellain  (129.)  reports  this  speech  of  Louis  XI.  on  his  accession 
to  the  crown :  "  Only  yesterday  I  held  myself  to  be  the  poorest  son  of  a 
king  that  ever  was,  and  one  who,  from  my  infancy  to  the  present  day. 
have  had  nought  but  suffering  and  tribulation,  poverty,  anguish,  and 
want;  and,  what  is  more,  expulsion  from  my  inheritance, and  loss  of  my 

6  2 


84  THE    MEMOIRS    OF    PHILIP    DE    COMMINFS.  [1483. 

of  his  life  were  computed  in  which  his  joys  and  pleasures 
outweighed  his  pain  and  trouble,  they  would  be  found  so 
few,  that  there  would  be  twenty  mournful  ones  to  one  plea- 
sant. He  lived  about  sixty-one  years,  yet  he  always  fancied 
he  should  never  outlive  sixty,  giving  this  for  a  reason,  that 
for  a  long  time  no  king  of  France  had  lived  beyond  that 
age.  Some  say,  since  the  time  of  Charlemagne;  but  the 
king  our  master  was  far  advanced  in  his  sixty-first  year.* 

What  ease  or  what  pleasure  did  Charles,  Duke  of  Bur- 
gundy, enjoy  more  than  our  master  King  Louis  ?  In  his 
youth,  indeed,  he  had  less  trouble,  for  he  did  not  begin  to 
enter  upon  any  action  till  nearly  the  two-and-thirtieth  year 
of  his  age ;  so  that  before  that  time  he  lived  in  great  ease 
and  quiet.  His  first  quarrel  was  with  his  father's  chief 
otneers  ;  and  as  his  father  took  their  part,  he  immediately 
withdrew  from  court,  and  retired  into  Holland  f,  where  being 
well  received,  he  fell  immediately  into  intelligence  with  the 
Gantois,  and  went  and  visited  his  father  sometimes.  He  had 
no  allowance  from  his  father ;  but  Holland,  being  a  rich 
country,  made  him  great  presents,  as  did  several  other  great 
towns,  hoping  thereby  to  insinuate  themselves  into  his  favour, 
and  reap  the  advantage  after  Duke  Philip's  death.  And  it 
is  the  common  custom  of  the  world  to  worship  the  rising 
sun,  and  court  him  whose  future  authority  will  be  great, 
rather  than  him  who  is  already  at  the  height  of  his  fortune, 
and  can  never  be  higher.  For  this  reason,  when  Duke 
Philip  was  informed  that  the  Gantois  had  expressed  great 
kindness  for  his  son,  and  that  he  understood  how  to  manage 
them,  he  answered,  "  They  always  love  him  who  is  to  be 
their  sovereign ;  but  as  soon  as  he  is  their  lord  they  will 
hate  him."  And  his  saying  was  true,  for  from  the  time  of 
Duke  Philip's  death  and  Charles's  accession,  their  love  began 
to  decline,  and  they  showed  it  openly,  and  he,  on  the  other 
side,  cared  as  little  for  them  ;  yet  they  did  more  mischief 
to  his  posterity  than  they  could  possibly  do  to  him. 

father's  love,  so  as  to  be  obliged,  my  wife  and  myself,  to  live  by  borrow- 
ing and  begging,  without  a  foot  of  land,  a  house  to  cover  us,  or  a  penny 
in  our  pockets,  except  by  the  goodness  and  charity  of  my  good  uncle, 
who  has  maintained,  me  thus  for  the  space  of  five  years '' 

*  The  exact  age  of  Louis  XI.  at  the  time  of  his  death  was  sixty 
years,  one  month,  and  twenty-seven  days. 

f  In  the  year  1462. 


1483.]  EXAMPLE    OF    KING    EDWARD    IV  So 

But  to  continue  these  Memoirs.  From  the  time  Duke 
Charles  undertook  his  war  to  recover  the  towns  in  Picardy, 
(which  our  master  had  redeemed  from  Duke  Philip),  and 
joined  himself  with  the  lords  of  the  kingdom  in  the  war 
called  the  Public  Good,  what  pleasure,  what  tranquillity  had 
he?  He  had  continual  trouble  and  labour,  without  the  least 
cessation  or  refreshment,  either  to  his  body  or  mind ;  for 
glory  got  entire  possession  of  his  heart,  and  constantly 
spurred  him  on  to  attempt  new  conquests.  He  was  always 
in  the  field  during  summer,  exposing  his  person  to  the 
greatest  danger,  taking  the  care  and  command  of  the  whole 
army  upon  himself;  and  yet  he  thought  his  work  too  little. 
He  was  the  first  that  rose,  and  the  last  that  went  to  bed  in 
the  camp ;  and  he  slept  in  his  clothes,  like  the  poorest  foot- 
soldier  in  the  army.  In  winter,  when  the  campaign  was 
Dver,  he  was  busily  employed  about  raising  money;  six 
hours  every  morning  he  set  apart  for  conferences,  and  i'or 
giving  audience  to  ambassadors;  and  in  this  perpetual  hurry 
of  affairs  he  ended  his  days,  and  was  killed  by  the  Swiss  in 
the  battle  of  Nancy,  as  you  have  already  heard  ;  so  that  it 
cannot  be  said  that  he  enjoyed  one  happy  day  from  the  time 
of  his  beginning  to  aggrandise  himself  to  the  hour  of  his 
death  ;  and  then  what  were  the  fruits  of  all  his  pains  and 
labour?  Or  what  necessity  was  there  of  his  doing  so? 
since  he  was  a  rich  prince,  and  had  towns  and  territories 
large  enough  already  to  have  made  him  happy,  if  he  could 
have  been  contented  with  them. 

The  next  prince  whom  we  shall  have  occasion  to  mention 
is  Edward  IV.,  King  of  England,  a  great  and  powerful 
monarch.  In  his  minority  he  saw  his  father  the  Duke  of 
York*  defeated  and  slain  in  battle,  and  with  him  the  father •(■ 
of  the  Earl  of  Warwick,  who  governed  the  king  in  his  youth, 
and  managed  all  his  affairs  ;  and,  to  say  the  truth,  it  was  the 
Earl  of  Warwick  who  made  Edward  king,  and  dethroned 
his  old  master,  King  Henry  VI.,  who  had  reigned  many 
years  in  England,  and  (in  my  judgment,  and  the  judgment 
of  the  world,)  was  the  lawful  king;  but,  in  such  cases, 
Ihe  disposal  of  kingdoms  and  great  states  is  in  the  hands  of 

•  See  Vol.  I.  p.  48. 

f  Richard  Neville,  Earl  of  Westm*  relnud  and  Salisbury 

o  3 


86  THE    MEMOIRS    OF    PniLIP   DE    COMMINES.  [1483 

God,  who  orders  them  as  He  pleases,  for  indeed  all  things 
proceed  from  Him.  The  reason  of  the  Earl  of  Warwick's 
espousing  the  interest  of  the  House  of  York  against  King 
Henry,  who  was  of  the  Lancastrian  family,  was  upon  a 
difference  that  happened  at  court  betwixt  the  Duke  of  So- 
merset and  the  Earl  of  Warwick.  The  king  not  having 
wisdom  enough  to  compose  it,  it  grew  to  that  height  that  the 
queen*  (who  was  of  the  house  of  Anjou,  and  daughter  to 
Rene,  King  of  Sicily")  interposed  in  it,  and  inclined  to  the 
duke's  party  against  the  Earl  of  Warwick ;  for  all  had  ac- 
knowledged Henry,  his  father,  and  his  grandfather,  for  their 
lawful  kings.  The  queen  would  have  acted  much  more 
prudently  in  endeavouring  to  have  adjusted  the  dispute  be- 
tween them  than  in  saying,  "I  am  of  this  party,  and  will 
maintain  it  ;"  and  it  proved  so  by  the  event,  for  it  occasioned 
many  battles  in  England,  and  a  war  which  continued  nine- 
and-twenty  years f  ;  and  in  the  end  nearly  all  the  partisans 
of  both  sides  were  destroyed  ;  so  that  factions  and  parties 
are  very  perilous  and  fatal,  especially  to  the  nobility,  who 
are  too  prone  to  propagate  and  foment  them.  If  it  be  alleged 
that  by  this  means  both  parties  are  kept  in  awe,  and  the 
secret  minds  of  his  subjects  are  discovered  to  the  prince,  I 
agree  that  a  young  prince  may  encourage  faction  among  his 
ladies,  and  it  may  be  pleasant  and  diverting  enough,  and  may 
give  him  opportunity  of  finding  out  some  of  their  intrigues; 
but  nothing  is  so  dangerous  to  a  nation  as  to  nourish  such 
factions  and  partialities  among  men  of  courage  and  magna- 
nimity; it  is  no  less  than  setting  one's  own  house  on  fire ; 
for  immediately  some  or  other  cry  out,  "  The  king  is  against 
us,"  seize  upon  some  fortified  town,  and  correspond  with  his 
enemies.  And  certainly  the  factions  of  Orleans  and  Bur- 
gundy ought  to  make  us  wise  on  this  point ;  for  they  began 
a  war  which  lasted  seventy-two  years  J,  in  which  the  English 
were  concerned,  and  thought  by  those  unhappy  divisions  to 
have  conquered  the  kingdom. 

*  Margaret  of  Anjou,  daughter  of  Rene,  King  of  Naples  and  Sicily. 
She  was  born  on  the  23rd  of  March,  1429;  married  to  King  Henry  VL 
in  1444;  and  died  on  the  25th  of  August,  1482. 

•f  The  first  battle  was  fought  in  1455,  and  the  last  in  147 1.  See  Vol.  I 
p.  181. 

X  See  Vol.  L  p.  273 


1483.]         EXAMPLE    OF   MATTHIAS    I.    OF    HUNGARY.  87 

But  to  return  from  this  digression.  King  Edward  was  a 
very  voung  prince,  and  one  of  the  handsomest  men  of  his 
age,  at  the  time  lie  had  overcome  all  his  difficulties  ;  so  he 
gave  himself  up  wholly  to  pleasures,  and  took  no  delight  in 
anything  but  ladies,  dancing,  entertainments,  and  the  chase; 
and  in  this  voluptuous  course  of  life,  if  I  mistake  not,  he 
spent  ahout  sixteen  years,  till  the  quarrel  happened  between 
him  and  the  Earl  of  Warwick.  In  which  contest,  though 
tho  king  was  driven  out  of  the  kingdom,  yet  his  misfortune 
lasted  not  long  ;  for  he  quickly  returned,  obtained  a  victory, 
and  afterwards  fell  again  to  his  pleasures,  and  indulged  him- 
self in  them  more  recklessly  than  before.  From  this  time 
he  feared  nobody;  but  he  grew  very  fat,  and  his  excess  in- 
clining him  to  diseases,  in  the  very  flower  of  his  age,  he  died 
suddenly  (as  it  was  reported)  of  an  apoplexy*,  and  his  family 
perished  after  him  (as  you  have  heard),  as  regarded  the  suc- 
cession in  the  male  line. 

In  our  time  also,  there  reigned  two  wise  and  valiant 
princes,  Matthias,  King  of  Hungary  t,  and  Mahomet  Otto- 
man, Emperor  of  the  Turks.  J  This  King  Matthias  was  the 
son  of  a  very  valiant  gentleman,  called  the  White  Knight 
of  Wallachia  §,  a  person  of  great  honour  and  prudence,  who 


* 


This  is  the  third  explanation  given  by  Commines  of  the  cause  of 
Edward's  death.  At  Vol.  I.  p.  394.,  he  says  he  died  of  melancholy,  and 
at  p.  62.  of  this  volume  he  ascribes  his  decease  to  a  catarrh.  Apoplexy 
is  the  most  probable  explanation  of  the  event. 

f  Matthias  I.,  surnamed  Corvinus,  was  the  son  of  John  Hunniades, 
and  was  proclaimed  King  of  Hungary  in  1458,  at  the  age  of  sixteen 
years.  He  reigned  for  thirty- two  years  with  considerable  reputation,  to 
which  his  patronage  of  learned  men,  who  repaid  his  munificence  with 
very  profuse  eulogies,  did  not  a  little  contribute.     He  died  in  1490. 

J  Mahomet  II.,  son  of  Amurath  IL,  was  proclaimed  Sultan  in  1451, 
and  died  in  1481.  He  is  usually  distinguished  by  European  historians 
by  the  title  of  Mahomet  the  Great,  first  Emperor  of  the  Turks.  His 
reign  was  signalised  by  the  capture  of  Constantinople,  and  the  fall  of 
the  Byzantine  empire. 

§  John  Hunniades,  Voyvode  of  Transylvania,  was  Regent  of  Hun- 
gary during  the  minority  of  King  Ladislaus.  This  hero  stood  in  the 
breach  for  twelve  years  against  the  Turkish  power,  frequently  defeated. 
but  unconquered  in  defeat.  "  If  the  renown  of  Hunniades,"  says  Mr. 
Hallam,  "may  seem  exaggerated  by  the  partiality  of  writers  who  lived 
under  the  reign  of  his  son,  it  is  confirmed  by  more  unequivocal  evi- 
dence, by  the  dread  and  hatred  of  the  Turks,  whose  children  were  taught 
obedience  by  threatening  them  with  his  name,  and  by  the  deference  of  a 

G  4 


88  THE   MEMOIRS  OF   PHILIP   DE   COMMINES.  [1483 

for  a  long  time  had  governed  the  kingdom  of  Hungary,  and 
had  gained  several  battles  over  the  Turks,  who  are  neigh- 
bours to  that  country,  by  reason  of  the  territories  which 
they  have  usurped  in  Sclavonia,  Bosnia,  and  Greece.  Not 
long  after  his  death,  Lancelot  *  came  to  man's  estate,  who  was 
heir  to  that  kingdom,  and  to  the  kingdoms  of  Bohemia  and 
Poland  besides.  This  Lancelot  was  advised  by  some  persons 
(as  was  reported)  to  seize  upon  the  two  sons  of  the  White 
Knight,  on  the  pretence  that,  as  their  father  had  obtained 
and  exercised  so  much  power  and  authority  in  that  kingdom 
during  his  infancy,  it  was  not  improbable  that  his  sons  might 
do  the  same.  Upon  which  the  said  Lancelot  resolved  to 
have  them  both  apprehended,  which  was  accordingly  done. 
He  put  the  eldest  f  to  death,  and  sent  the  other,  which  was 
Matthias,  a  prisoner  to  Buda,  the  chief  town  in  Hungary  ; 
but  he  did  not  remain  long  in  confinement  (God  Almighty 
being  perhaps  pleased  with  the  services  of  his  father),  for, 
awhile  after,  King  Lancelot  was  poisoned  at  Prague,  in 
Bohemia,  by  a  lady  of  quality  (whose  brother  I  have  seen), 
with  whom  he  had  been  in  love,  and  she  with  him  ;  but 
being  incensed  at  his  intended  marriage  in  France,  with  the 

jealous  aristocracy  to  a  man  of  no  distinguished  birth."  Hunniades  was 
a  Wallachian,  of  a  small  family.  His  last  and  most  splendid  service 
was  the  relief  of  Belgrade.  That  strong  city  was  besieged  by  Ma- 
homet II.,  three  years  after  the  fall  of  Constantinople;  its  capture  would 
have  laid  open  all  Hungary.  A  tumultuary  army,  chiefly  collected  by 
the  preaching  of  a  friar,  was  entrusted  to  Hunniades.  He  penetrated 
into  the  city,  and  having  repulsed  the  Turks  in  a  fortunate  sally,  wherein 
Mahomet  was  wounded,  had  the  honour  of  compelling  him  to  raise  the 
siege  in  confusion.  The  relief  of  Belgrade  was  more  important  in  its 
effects  than  in  its  immediate  circumstances:  it  revived  the  spirits  of 
Europe,  which  had  been  appalled  by  the  unceasing  victories  of  the 
infidels.  Mahomet  himself  seemed  to  acknowledge  the  importance  of 
the  blow,  and  seldom  afterwards  attacked  the  Hungarians.  Hunniades 
died  in  1456,  soon  after  this  achievement. 

*  Ladislaus  V.,  King  of  Hungary,  was  the  posthumous  son  of  Albert, 
Duke  of  Austria,  who  acquired  the  crown  of  Hungary  for  his  progeny 
by  marrying  Elizabeth,  daughter  of  the  Emperor  Sigismund.  Ladislaus 
was  born  on  the  22nd  of  February,  1440;  became  king  on  the  13th  of 
February,  1453;  and  died  on  the  23rd  of  November,  1457. 

f  Ladislaus,  the  eldest  son  of  John  Hunniades,  was  beheaded  on  the 
8th  of  March,  1456,  for  having  assassinated  the  Count  of  Cillei  during 
the  preceding  year. 


1483.]  REIGN   OF   MATTHU.S   I     DF    HUNGARY.  89 

daughter*  of  King  Charles  VII.  (called  now  the  Princess  of 
Vienne),  which  was  contrary  to  his  engagement  to  her,  she 
poisoned  him  in  a  bath,  by  giving  him  an  apple  to  eat,  and 
conveying  poison  into  the  haft  of  his  knife.  Upon  the  death 
of  Lancelot,  the  barons  of  Hungary  assembled  at  Buda  for 
the  election  of*  a  king,  according  to  an  ancient  privilege 
which  they  have,  to  elect  their  king  when  his  predecessor 
has  died  without  issue.  Whilst  they  were  mightly  divided, 
and  in  great  controversy  about  the  election,  the  widow  of 
the  White  Knight,  and  mother  of  Matthias,  entered  the 
town  with  a  very  splendid  equipage  ;  for  she  was  very  rich, 
esp  cially  in  ready  money,  which  her  husband  had  left  her, 
by  means  of  which  she  was  able,  to  raise  men  immediately  ; 
and,  besides,  it  is  not  improbable  that  she  had  partisans  in 
the  town,  and  among  the  electors,  upon  account  of  the  in- 
fluence and  authority  her  husband  had  had  in  that  kingdom. 
As  soon  as  she  came  into  the  city,  she  marched  directly  to 
the  prison,  and  released  her  son  ;  upon  which  some  of  the 
barons  and  prelates  who  were  assembled  fled  in  terror  out  of 
the  town,  and  those  that  remained  chose  Matthias  for  their 
king  ;  and  he  reigned  among  them  in  great  prosperity,  with 
as  much  applause  and  esteem  as  any  of  his  predecessors,  and 
in  some  things  with  even  more.  Pie  was  a  man  of  as  much 
courage  as  any  of  that  age,  and  obtained  many  signal  vic- 
tories over  the  Turks,  without  any  loss  to  his  kingdom,  which 
he  much  enlarged,  as  well  towards  Turkey  as  towards  Bohe- 
mia (most  of  which  was  in  his  possession ),  and  also  in  Wal- 
lachia  (where  he  was  born)  and  Sclavonia  ;  and  on  the  side 
towards  Germany  he  took  the  greatest  part  of  Austria  from 
the  Emperor  Frederic,  and  kept  it  till  his  death,  which  hap- 
pened in  Vienna,  the  chief  city  of  Austria,  in  the  year  1491. 
He  was  a  prince  who  managed  his  affairs  discreetly,  both  in 
peace  and  in  war.  Towards  the  latter  end  of  his  days,  find- 
ing he  was  become  formidable,  he  began  to  affect  a  pompous 
and  splendid  way  of  living,  and  provided  great  store  of  rich 
hangings,  jewels,  and  plate,  for  the  adornment  of  his  palace. 
Alibis  business  was  dispatched  by  himself,  or  by  his  direc- 

*  Madelaine  of  France,  daughte.  of  King  Charles  VII.,  was  born  on 
the  1st  of  December,  1443.  and  betrothed  to  the  King  of  Hungary  in 
1457.  In  1461  she  married  Gaston  de  Foix,  Prince  of  Viane;  and  she 
died  in  1486. 


90  THE   MEMOIRS   OF   PHILIP   DE   COMMINES.         [1483, 

tion  :  lie  had  also  an  inclination  to  make  himself  terrible  to 
liis  own  subjects,  and  became  a  very  tyrant  towards  his  latter 
end ;  after  which  he  fell  into  a  grievous  and  incurable  dis- 
temper, as  it  were  in  his  youth  (for  he  was  but  eight-and- 
twenty*  years  of  age),  and  died:  his  life  having  been  one 
continued  scene  of  labour  and  sorrow,  without  any  great 
pleasure  or  ease. 

The  Turk,  whom  I  mentioned  before,  was  a  wise  and 
valiant  prince,  but  he  made  more  use  of  his  cunning  than  of 
his  courage.  His  father f  also  was  a  valiant  prince,  who  took 
Adrianople  (that  is  to  say,  the  city  of  Adrian),  ami  left  his 
son  very  great ;  and  this  son,  at  the  age  of  twenty-three, 
took  Constantinople!,  or  the  city  of  Constantine ;  I  have 
seen  Ids  portrait  painted  at  that  age,  which  represented  him 
vigorous  and  sprightly.  It  was  a  great  disgrace  to  all 
Christendom  to  suffer  that  city  to  be  lost ;  he  took  it  by 
assault,  and  the  Emperor  of  the  East§  (whom  we  called 
Emperor  of  Constantinople)  was  slain  in  the  breach.  Many 
brave  men  were  killed  with  him  in  this  assault,  many  great 
ladies  ravished,  and  no  manner  of  cruelty  was  omitted.  This 
was  his  first  exploit,  but  he  continued  to  perform  great  ac- 
tions, and  so  many,  that  I  heard  a  Venetian  ambassador  say 
once  in  the  presence  of  Charles,  Duke  of  Burgundy,  that  this 
Mahomet  had  conquered  two  empires,  four  kingdoms,  and 
two  hundred  cities;  he  meant,  indeed,  the  empires  of  Con- 

*  As  might  have  been  expected,  from  his  having  no  personal  know- 
ledge of  Hungarian  affairs,  Commines  falls  into  many  inaccuracies  about 
Matthias  Corvinus,  who  was  forty-eight  years  old  when  he  died,  in  the 
year  1490.  His  election  to  the  kingdom  is  to  be  ascribed  far  less  to  any 
intrigues  of  his  mother  than  to  the  aversion  felt  by  the  Hungarian  nobles 
to  the  character  and  Austrian  connections  of  the  Emperor  Frederic  III., 
the  other  candidate  for  the  crown. 

f  Amurath  II.  succeeded  his  father  Mahomet  I.  in  1421,  and  died  in 
1451. 

f;  The  siege  of  Constantinople  began  on  the  6th  of  April,  1453,  and 
the  city  was  taken  on  the  29th  of  May  following. —  See  Gibbon's 
Roman  Empire,  chap.  68. 

§  Constantine  Palseologus  XIV.,  sur named  Dragases,  was  born  in 
February,  1403,  and  succeeded  to  his  fathers  throne  in  November,  1448. 
He  fought  bravely  in  defence  of  his  capital,  and  when  he  found  resist- 
ance unavailing,  "  he  folded  around  him  the  imperial  mantle,  and  re- 
membered ths  name  which  he  represeoted  in  the  dignity  of  heroic 
death." 


1483.]      EXAMPLE  OF  MAHOMET  THE  GREAT  91 

ptantinople  and  Trebizond  *  ;  the  kingdoms  of  Bosnia,  Syria, 
Armenia,  and  I  think  Morea  was  the  fourth.  He  conquered 
likewise  many  fair  islands  in  the  Archipelago  (where  the  Vene- 
tians have  twof  settlements),  among  others,  Negropont  and 
Mitylene  ;  besides  which  he  subdued  nearly  all  Albania  and 
Sclavonia :  and  as  his  conquests  were  great  over  the 
Christians,  so  were  they  no  less  considerable  over  those  of 
hi3  own  religion,  among  whom  he  destroyed  several  great 
princes,  as  the  Prince  of  CaramaniaJ,  and  others. 

The  greatest  part  of  his  affairs  were  transacted  by  himself, 
according  to  the  practice  of  our  king  and  of  the  king  of 
Hungary :  and  these  three  were  without  all  dispute  the 
wisest  princes  that  had  reigned  for  a  hundred  years.  But 
the  generosity  of  our  master's  conversation,  and  his  libera- 
lity to  his  servants,  as  well  as  to  foreigners  and  others,  dis- 
tinguished him  very  much  from  the  other  two ;  and  it  is  no 
wonder,  for  he  was  styled  the  most  Christian  King.  As  to 
worldly  pleasures  and  enjoyments,  this  Turk  had  his  share, 
and  spent  most  of  his  time  in  them  ;  and,  indeed,  he  would 
have  done  more  mischief  to  Christendom,  had  he  not  been 
so  employed.  He  indulged  himself  in  all  kinds  of  sensuality, 
and  was  strangely  given  to  gluttony,  which  brought  him 
numberless  diseases,  which  continued  upon  him  as  long  as  he 
lived.  Every  spring  he  had  a  swelling  in  his  legs,  that 
made  them  as  big  as  a  man's  waist  (as  I  have  heard  from 
those  who  have  seen  it) ;  and  the  swelling  never  broke,  but 
dispersed  of  its  own  accord,  and  no  surgeon  could  tell  what 
to  make  of  it,  but  all  agreed  his  gluttony  was  the  occasion  of 
it,  though  perhaps  it  was  a  judgment  from  heaven  ;  and  one 
reason  why  he  suffered  himself  to  be  seen  so  seldom,  and 
kept  himself  shut  up  in  his  seraglio,  was,  lest  he  should  dis- 
cover that  infirmity,  and  grow  contemptible  to  his  subjects. 
He  died  about  the  fifty-second  year  of  his  age,  and  suddenly; 
yet  he  made  a  will,  and  I  have  seen  it,  and,  if  it  be  true,  he 

•  The  empire  of  Trebizond  was  overthrown  by  Mahomet  in  1461. 

f  The  Venetian  settlements  of  Modon  and  Coron  in  the  Morea  were 
surrendered  to  the  Turks  in  the  year  1500. 

%  Caramania,  a  province  of  Asiatic  Turkey,  on  the  south  of  Anatolia. 
Its  emirs  were  formerly  powerful  princes;  but  Mahomet  II.  greatly 
weakened  them  in  1440,  and  his  son  Bajazet  i  icorporated  their  domi« 
nioiis  with  the  Turkish  empire  in  1488. 


92  THE    MEMOIRS    OF    PHILIP   DE    COMMIXES.  [1483 

seemed  to  have  some  remorse  for  a  tax  which  he  had  lately 
laid  upon  his  subjects.  Let  Christian  princes  therefore  con- 
sider what  they  do,  since  they  have  no  reasonable  power  to 
raise  money,  without  the  permission  and  consent  of  their 
people. 

Thus  have  you  seen  the  death  of  many  illustrious  persons 
in  a  short  time,  who  had  borne  so  much  sorrow,  and  endured 
so  many  fatigues,  only  to  extend  their  dominions,  and  ad- 
vance their  fame  and  glory,  as  perhaps  tended  not  only  to 
the  shortening  of  their  lives,  but  to  the  endangering  the 
welfare  of  their  immortal  souls.  I  am  not  speaking  here  of 
the  Turk,  for  I  question  not  but  that  he  is  gone  to  his  prede- 
cessors, but  of  our  king  and  the  rest,  on  whom  I  hope  God 
will  have  mercy.  But  to  speak  freely  (as  one  that  is  no 
great  scholar  or  genius,  but  has  had  some  experience  in  the 
world),  would  it  not  have  been  better  for  them,  and  for  all 
other  great  princes  and  subjects  whatever,  to  choose  a  middle 
course  in  all  their  desires  ;  that  is,  not  to  be  so  solicitous 
and  careful  about  temporal  things,  and  have  such  vast  and 
unreasonable  designs  in  view ;  but  to  be  more  cautious 
of  offending  God,  oppressing  their  subjects,  and  invading 
their  neighbours,  by  so  many  cruel  and  unchristian  ways,  as 
I  have  mentioned  before,  and  rather  employ  their  time  in 
tranquillity  and  innocent  diversions?  Their  lives  would  be 
longer,  their  infirmities  the  later  in  coming,  their  deaths  less 
desirable  to  other  people,  and  less  terrible  to  themselves. 
Can  we  desire  any  clearer  examples  to  prove  how  poor  and 
inconsiderable  a  creature  man  is,  how  short  and  miserable 
his  life,  and  how  little  difference  there  is  betwixt  princes 
and  private  persons,  since  as  soon  as  they  are  dead,  whether 
rich  or  poor,  their  bodies  become  abominable,  all  people  fly 
and  shun  them,  and  their  souls  are  no  sooner  separated  but 
they  prepare  to  receive  their  doom,  which  is  given  by  God 
at  that  very  instant  of  time,  according  to  every  man's  works, 
fcnd  bodily  deserts. 


1484.  REIGN   OF   KING   CHARLES   VIII.  93 


BOOK  THE  SEVENTH. 


CH-  I. — How  Duke  Rene  of  Lorraine  came  into  France  to  demand  the 
Duchy  of  Bar  and  the  County  of  Provence,  which  King  Charles  had 
in  His  Possession;  and  how  he  failed  to  obtain  the  Kingdom  of 
Naples,  to  which  he  laid  Claim  as  well  as  the  King;  and  what  Eight 
each  had  thereto.  — 1484 — 6. 

To  continue  these  Memoirs,  which  were  begun  by  me,  Philip 
de  Commines,  concerning  the  exploits  and  reign  of  our  late 
king,  Louis  XL  (whom  God  absolve!),  I  will  now  give  you 
an  account  how  it  came  to  pass  that  his  son,  Charles  VIII., 
undertook  his  expedition  into  Italy,  in  which  I  was  engaged. 
The  king  set  out  from  Vienne*,  in  Dauphiny,  on  the  23rd  of 
August,  1494,  and  returned  into  his  kingdom  in  October  of 
the  year  1495.  Before  he  undertook  this  enterprise,  it  was 
warmly  debated  whether  he  should  go  or  not,  for  by  all  per- 
sons of  experience  and  wisdom  it  was  looked  upon  as  a  very 
dangerous  undertaking ;  nor  indeed  was  anybody  in  favour 
of  it  but  himself,  and  one  Stephen  de  Vers,  a  native  of  Lan- 
guedoc,  a  man  of  mean  extraction,  and  who  had  never  seen  or 
had  the  least  knowledge  of  military  affairs.  It  was  also  pro- 
moted at  first  by  one  Brissonet  f,  who  was  one  of  the  generals 
of  the  finances,  but  his  heart  soon  failed  him.     However. 

*  Charles  VIII.  set  out  from  Grenoble,  on  his  journey  into  Italy,  on 
tin-  29th  of  August,  1494.  He  had  previously  resided  for  four  months 
at  Vienne,  and  left  that  city  for  Grenoble  on  the  23rd  of  August,  as  is 
stated  in  the  text. 

t  Guillaume  Briconnet  was  the  son  of  Jean  Briconnet,  Lord  of 
Varennes,  Secretary  to  the  King,  and  Receiver-General  of  the  Finances. 
He  at  first  embraced  his  father's  profession,  and  was  appointed  General 
of  the  Finances  in  Languedoc  by  Louis  XI.  In  1490  he  was  installed 
in  the  bishopric  of  St.  Malo,  and  created  Chief  Superintendent  of  the 
Finances.  In  1495  he  received  a  cardinal's  hat;  in  1497  he  was 
translated  to  the  archbishopric  of  Rheims,  and  performed  the  ceremony 
of  consecrating  Louis  XIL ;  and  he  died  at  Narbonne,  of  which  he  wsw 
archbishop,  in  1514. 


94  THE  MEMOIRS   OF    PHILIP   DE   COMMINES.  [148L 

this  expedition  turned  much  to  his  advantage  afterwards,  for 
he  obtained  great  preferment  in  the  church,  was  made  a 
cardinal,  and  was  endowed  with  several  benefices.  De  Vers 
had  acquired  a  plentiful  estate  before,  and  was  seneschal  of 
Beaucaire,  and  president  of  the  accounts  at  Paris,  for  he  had 
served  the  King  in  his  youth  faithfully,  in  quality  of  gentle- 
man of  the  bed-chamber ;  and,  by  his  persuasion,  Monsieur 
Brissonet  was  brought  over  to  his  party,  so  that  they  two 
were  the  chief  promoters  of  this  expedition,  for  which  few 
persons  praised  them,  and  many  censured  them  ;  because  not 
only  were  all  things  necessary  for  so  great  an  enterprise 
wanting,  but  the  king  was  young,  foolish,  and  obstinate, 
without  either  money,  officers,  or  wise  councillors.  So  tliat 
before  he  began  his  march  he  was  forced  to  borrow  a  hun- 
dred thousand  francs  from  the  bank  of  Soly  at  Genoa*  at 
an  extravagant  interest,  and  from  mart  to  mart,  besides  what 
he  collected  in  other  places,  as  you  shall  hear  hereafter. 
They  had  neither  tents  nor  pavilions,  though  it  was  winter 
when  the  army  entered  into  Lombardy:  one  thing,  indeed, 
was  very  handsome,  and  that  was  a  brigade  of  young  gentle- 
men, who  were  lively  and  brisk,  but  under  little  command 
or  discipline.  So  that  we  may  conclude  this  whole  expedi- 
tion, both  going  and  coming,  was  conducted  purely  by  God; 
for,  as  I  said  before,  the  wisdom  of  the  contrivers  of  this 
scheme  contributed  but  little.  However,  they  may  boast  of 
this,  that  they  were  the  occasion  of  highly  advancing  the 
honour  and  glory  of  their  king. 

As  soon  as  the  King  was  fourteen  or  fifteen  years  old,  at 
which  age  he  was  crowned f,  the  Duke  of  Lorraine;}:  came 
to  him  to  demand  the  duchy  of  Bar,  which  King  Louis  XL 
had  kept  from  him,  and  the  county  of  Provence,  which  King 

*  By  letters  patent,  issued  at  Lyons  on  the  30th  of  April.  1494, 
Charles  VIII.  authorises  Master  Pierre  de  Lignac  to  receive  and  distri- 
bute at  Milan  a  sum  of  20,000  ducats  "  for  the  payment  of  the  troops 
we  are  raising  in  that  neighbourhood  to  serve  in  our  army  for  the  con- 
quest of  our  kingdom  of  Naples."  This  money  was  borrowed  from 
the  bank  of  Paul  Sauli  at  Genoa,  as  is  proved  by  a  receipt  in  the 
writing  of  Pierre  de  Lignac,  which  still  exists,  and  is  printed  in  Du- 
pont,  ii.  292. 

t  Charles  VIII.  was  born  on  the  30th  of  June,  1470,  and  consecrated 
at  Eheims  on  the  30th  of  May,  1484. 

X  liene  II.    See  note,  Vol.  L  p.  242. 


1481.]       BAR   RESTORED    TO    THE   DUKE    OF    LORRAINE.  95 

Charles  of  Anjou,  his  cousin-german,  dying  without  issue, 
left  to  Louis  XL  by  his  last  will  and  testament.*  The  Duke 
of  Lorraine  laid  claim  to  it,  as  being  son  to  the  daughter  of 
Rene,  King  of  Sicily,  Duke  of  Anjou,  and  Count  of  Pro- 
fence,  and  alleged  that  the  King  of  Sicily  had  highly  injured 
aim,  for  that  the  said  Charles  of  Anjou  was  but  his  nephew, 
ion  of  his  brother,  the  Count  du  Maine,  whereas  he  was 
descended  from  his  daughter.  But  King  Charles  pretended 
that  Provence  could  not  be  transferred  by  will  to  a  daughter. 
The  conclusion  of  this  affair  was,  Bar  was  restored  for  a  sum 
of  money,  which  the  king  demanded;  and  the  Duke  of 
Lorraine  being  in  great  favour,  and  having  many  friends  at 
court  (especially  John,  Duke  of  Bourbon,  who  was  old,  and 
desirous  to  marry  his  sister  t),  had  a  lucrative  post  J,  and 
the  command  of  a  hundred  lances  given  him  by  the  king, 
and  a  pension  of  thirty-six  thousand  francs  for  four  years §, 
during  which  time  his  title  to  Provence  was  to  be  examined 
into.  I  was  one  of  the  council ||  which  was  chosen  for  this 
purpose,  partly  by  the  King's  relations,  and  partly  by  the 
three  Estates  of  the  kingdom.  Stephen  de  Vers,  whom  I  men- 
tioned before,  and  who  had  got  some  estate  in  Provence,  and 
vvho  had  in  his  head  the  expedition  to  Naples,  persuaded  the 
King,  young  as  he  was,  to  declare  (in  the  presence  of  his 
sister,  the    Duchess   of  Bourbon %)   to   the  Count  de  Com- 

*  Dated  December  10,  1481.     See  Lenglet,  iii.  334. 

f  Of  the  three  sisters  of  the  Duke  of  Lorraine,  two  only  were  living 
in  1484;  namely,  Yolande,  who  married  the  Landgrave  of  Hesse  in 
1496;  and  Margaret,  who  married  Rene,  Duke  of  Alencon,  in  1488. 
As  the  Duke  of  Bourbon  did  not  lose  his  second  wife,  Catherine  of 
Armagnac,  until  March,  1487,  he  must,  if  Commines  be  right,  have 
formed  the  project  of  a  matrimonial  alliance  with  the  Duke  of  Lorraine 
during  her  lifetime. 

t  By  letters  patent,  dated  on  the  7th  of  August,  1486.  King  Charles 
VIII.  appointed  the  Duke  of  Lorraine  his  Grand  Chamberlain,  "with 
all  the  perquisites  and  pre-eminence  attaching  to  the  office." 

§  This  pension  was  to  become  due  on  and  after  the  1st  of  October, 
1483. 

||  The  Lord  of  Argenton  was  included  in  the  List  of  Councillors  of 
the  King,  drawn  up  immediately  after  the  death  of  Louis  XL  He  was 
also  one  of  the  fifteen  persons  suggested  to  the  States-General  as  most 
worthy  to  constitute  the  council  of  the  young  King. — Masselin,  123. 

■[[  She  did  not  obtain  the  title  of  Duchess  of  Bourbon  until  after  the 
death  of  her  brotuer-iu-law  John  II.,  which  occuwel  on  the  1st  of 
April,  1488 


96  THE    MEMOIRS   OF    THILIP    DE    COMMINES.  [l4S4s 

minges,  the  Lord  du  Lau  (who  were  both  likewise  of  the 
council),  and  myself,  that  we  should  have  a  care  he  did  not 
lose  the  county  of  Provence;  and  this  was  done  before  the 
above-mentioned  agreement  was  made. 

Before  the  expiration  of  the  four  years,  some  clerks  of 
Provence  produced  a  new  will  of  King  Charles  I.*,  brother  to 
St.  Louis,  and  the  wills  of  other  kings  of  Sicily  of  the  house  of 
France.  By  these  it  was  pretended,  that  not  only  the  county 
of  Provence  belonged  to  the  king,  but  the  kingdom  of  Sicily 
also,  and  other  places  possessed  by  the  house  of  Anjou,  and 
that  the  Duke  of  Lorraine  had  no  title  to  any  of  them  (which 
other  people  denied).  And  those  who  were  against  the 
Duke  of  Lorraine's  title,  addressed  themselves  to  this  Stephen 
de  Vers,  who  persuaded  his  master  that  the  last  King 
Charles,  Count  of  Provence,  son  of  Charles  of  Anjou,  Count 
du  Maine,  and  nephew  to  King  Rene,  had  left  it  to  him  by 
his  will ;  for  King  Rene  had  made  him  his  heir  before  he 
died,  and  preferred  him  before  the  Duke  of  Lorraine,  who 
was  his  daughter's  son ;  and  this,  they  urged,  was  done  by 
King  Rene,  in  consideration  of  the  wills  of  Charles  I.  and 
his  wife,  the  Countess  of  Provence,  by  which  they  had  en- 
joined that  that  kingdom  and  the  county  of  Provence  should 
not  be  separated,  nor  descend  to  a  daughter,  whilst  there  was 
a  son  living  of  their  line.  And  they  affirmed  that  the  wills 
of  their  immediate  successors,  and  particularly  the  will  of 
Charles  II.  f ,  were  to  the  same  effect. 

*  Charles  I.,  King  of  Naples,  was  the  son  of  Louis  VIIL  of  France 
He  married  Beatrice,  Countess  of  Provence  and  Forcalquier,  and  died 
on  the  7th  of  January,  1295.  He  was  invested  with  the  kingdom  of 
Sicily  by  Pope  Clement  IV.,  who  charged  him  to  conquer  it,  which  he 
did,  after  a  severe  struggle  with  Manfred  and  Conradin,  the  legitimate 
possessors  of  the  crown.  But  his  reign  was  of  short  duration:  tha 
Sicilian  Vespers  overthrew  his  tyranny  in  1282,  and  separated  the 
kingdom  of  Sicily  from  that  of  Naples. 

f  Charles  II.,  son  of  Charles  I.,  King  of  Sicily,  was  a  prisoner  in  the 
hands  of  the  Sicilians  at  the  period  of  his  father's  death  in  1285.  He 
was  set  at  liberty  in  1288,  in  pursuance  of  a  treaty  by  which  he  acknow- 
ledged the  separation  and  independence  of  the  two  crowns  of  Napleg 
and  Sicily;  but  Pope  Nicholas  IV.,  by  whose  influence  the  treaty  wai 
made,  broke  it,  released  Charles  from  his  oath,  and  authorised  him  to 
begin  the  war  anew.  This  war,  which  lasted  twenty-four  years,  occu- 
pied without  lustre  the  whole  reign  of  Charles  H.  He  died  on  the  5\h 
Of  May,  1309. 


1485.]  NAPLES    REBELS    AGAINST    F ERRAND.  97 

During  these  four  years,  tliey  that  had  the  management 
of  the  king  (who  were  the  Duke  and  Duchess  of  Bourbon, 
and  a  chamberlain  named  the  Lord  of  Graville  *,  and  other 
lords  of  his  bed-chamber,  who  at  that  time  had  great  power) 
sent  for  the  Duke  of  Lorraine  to  court,  and  put  him  into 
places  of  great  trust  and  authority,  in  order  that,  as  he  was 
a  person  of  a  more  enterprising  temper  than  most  of  the 
courtier*,  he  might  aid  and  assist  them  in  their  under- 
takings]-; besides,  they  questioned  not  to  find  a  way  to  get 
rid  of  him  when  they  had  no  further  need  of  him,  as  they 
did  afterwards,  when  they  found  they  were  strong  enough  to 
manage  affairs  by  themselves,  and  that  the  power  of  the 
Duke  of  Orleans*  and  the  rest  of  the  nobility  in  his  faction 
was  weakened.  But  after  the  expiration  of  the  four  years, 
the  Duke  of  Lorraine  refused  to  stay  any  longer  at  court, 
unless  they  would  either  put  him  into  possession  of  the 
county  of  Provence,  or  secure  it  to  him  in  writing  at  a  fixed 
time,  and  meanwhile  continue  his  pension  of  thirty-six 
thousand  francs :  to  which  they  would  not  agree ;  so  the 
Duke  of  Lorraine  left  court,  highly  disgusted  with  their 
conduct. 

Four  or  five  months  before  his  leaving  the  court,  a  very 
lucky  adventure  happened  to  him,  if  he  had  known  how  to 
make  use  of  it.  The  whole  kingdom  of  Naples  rebelled  § 
against  King  Ferrand  ||,  for  his  and  his  son's  tyranny;  and 
all  the  barons,  and  three  parts  of  the  kingdom,  submittal 
themselves  to  the  Church.     But   King  Ferrand,   with  the 

•  Louis  Malct,  Lord  of  Graville,  and  one  of  the  king's  chamberlains, 
was  appointed  Admiral  of  France  in  1486,  and  resigned  that  post  in 
favour  of  his  son-in-law,  Charles  d'Amboise,  Lord  of  Chaumont,  in 
150S.     He  died  on  the  30th  of  October,  1516,  aged  seventy-eight  years. 

(■  The  Duke  of  Lorraine  made  a  written  promise  to  the  Duke  and 
Duchess  of  Bourbon,  dated  at  Bar,  on  the  29th  of  September,  1484,  that 
he  would  support  the  young  king. 

%  Louis  d'Orleans,  son  of  Charles,  Duke  of  Orleans,  and  Mary  of 
Cleves,  succeeded  to  the  throne  of  France  in  1498,  under  the  title  of 
Louis  XII.  He  was  born  on  the  27th  of  June,  1462;  crowned  on  the 
27th  of  May,  1498;  and  died  on  the  1st  of  January,  1514.  He  was  the 
chief  opponent  to  the  Duchess  of  Bourbon's  claim  to  the  Regency,  during 
the  minority  of  Charles  VIII. 

$  This  revolt  broke  out  on  the  25th  of  October,  1485. — Sismondi, 
si.  265. 

y  See  note,  Vol.  I.  p.  313. 

vol.  n.  is 


98  THE   MEMOIRS   OF   PHILIP   DE    COMMINES.         [I486. 

assistance  of  the  Florentines,  pressed  them  very  hard  ;  upon 
which  the  Pope*  and  the  rehel  lords  of  the  kingdom  sent  to 
the  Duke  of  Lorraine,  to  make  him  king  ;  and  they  were  so 
far  in  earnest  in  the  matter,  that  their  galleys,  and  the  Car- 
dinal of  Saint  Peter  ad  Vinculaf,  waited  tor  him  a  long 
time  at  Genoa,  whilst  he  was  quarrelling  at  the  French  court, 
though  ambassadors  from  all  the  nobility  of  Naples  were  with 
him,  pressing  him  daily  to  depart. 

The  result  of  all  was,  the  king  and  his  council  expressed 
great  readiness  to  assist  him.  He  was  promised  sixty  thou- 
sand francs,  and  received  twenty  thousand  of  them ;  the  rest 
he  lost.  He  had  leave  to  carry  his  hundred  lances  along  with 
him,  and  was  told  that  the  king  would  send  ambassadors  tc 
foreign  courts  in  his  favour.  However,  though  the  king  was 
now  nineteen  years  of  age,  yet  he  was  still  governed  by  the 
persons  above-named,  who  were  always  telling  him  of  his  un- 
doubted title  to  the  kingdom  of  Naples  (which  I  insert  the 
rather,  because  persons  of  little  consideration  are  often  ca- 
pable of  raising  great  troubles),  as  I  learned  from  several  of 

*  Gian  Battista  Cibo,  Cardinal  of  Melfi,  was  elected  Pope  on  the  29th 
of  August,  1484,  and  assumed  the  title  of  Innocent  VIII.  At  the  time 
of  his  elevation  to  the  supremacy  he  was  about  fifty-five  years  of  age, 
and  had  several  natural  children.  He  was  quite  as  corrupt  as  his  pre- 
decessor, Sixtus  IV.,  but  endued  with  far  less  talent  and  energy.  He 
married  his  son,  Franceschetto  Cibo,  to  a  daughter  of  Lorenzo  de' 
Medici;  and  this  alliance  afterwards  procured  to  his  posterity  the  duchy 
of  Massa-Carrara.  In  1489  he  gave  a  cardinal's  hat  to  Giovanni  de' 
Medici,  afterwards  Leo  X.  By  venality  in  the  distribution  of  justice, 
by  monopoly,  and  by  the  ignorance  and  carelessness  of  his  administra- 
tion, he  brought  Home  into  a  state  of  poverty  and  humiliation  previously 
unexampled.  He  died  on  the  25th  of  July,  1492,  the  most  despised,  but 
not  the  most  detested,  of  the  Popes  who  had  yet  filled  the  chair  of  St. 
Peter. 

f  Giuliano  della  Kovere,  Cardinal  of  St.  Peter  ad  Vincula,  and 
Bishop  of  Avignon,  was  elected  Pope  on  the  1st  of  November,  1503, 
under  the  title  of  Julius  II.  Although  violent  and  irascible,  he  had  a 
strong  sense  of  his  duty  as  a  pontiff  and  as  an  Italian.  He  was  deter- 
mined on  preserving  the  States  of  the  Church  intact  for  his  successors. 
He  rejected  all  nepotism,  all  aggrandisement  of  his  family;  and  would 
have  accused  himself  of  unpardonable  weakness  if  he  had  suffered  others 
to  usurp  what  he  refused  to  give  his  family.  With  these  motives,  he 
made  his  tiara  a  helmet  and  his  crosier  a  swerd.  After  having  driven 
the  French  out  of  Italy,  and  restored  the  Medici  at  Florence,  he  died  of 
an  inflammatory  disease  on  the  21st  of  February,  1513.  See  his  life  in 
IUnhk  h  History  of  the  Popes,  ia  Bomfs  Standard  Library* 


148b. j  LOhrtAINE's   OPPORTUNITY  LOST.  99 

the  Duke  ot  Lorraine's  ambassadors  to  Rome,  Florence, 
Genoa,  and  elsewhere,  and  also  from  the  duke  himself  as  he 
passed  by  Moulins,  where  I  then  resided  with  John  Duke 
of  Bourbon,  upon  account  of  a  dispute  with  the  court.  At 
that  time  the  Duke  of  Lorraine's  opportunity  was  half  lost 
already  by  his  own  delay;  however.  I  went  out  to  meet  him, 
,  though  I  had  no  obligation  to  do  so,  for  he  was  partly  the 
occasion  of  my  being  driven  from  court,  and  had  given  me 
very  abusive  language.  But  nobody  was  now  so  dear  to 
him  as  I ;  he  caressed  me  at  a  most  extravagant  rate,  and 
complained  heavily  of  those  who  had  the  present  adminis- 
tration of  affairs.  He  continued  two  days  with  John  Duke 
of  Bourbon,  and  then  he  set  out  for  Lyons. 

In  short,  his  friends  were  so  weary  and  tired  with  waiting, 
that  both  Pope  and  barons  came  to  an  accommodation*  with 
King  Ferrand  ;  in  reliance  upon  which,  when  the  barons 
ventured  to  Naples,  they  were  all  seized  and  imprisoned  f, 
though  the  Pope,  the  Venetians,  the  King  of  Spain,  and  the 
Florentines,  had  all  of  them  guaranteed  the  observance  of 
the  peace,  and  had  promised  and  sworn  to  secure  their  safety. 
The  Prince  of  Salerno  \  escaped  into  France,  refusing  to  be 
comprehended  in  the  treaty  of  accommodation,  as  he  knew 
the  revengeful  temper  of  King  Ferrand;  and  the  Duke  of 
Lorraine  returned  with  great  shame  and  dishonour  into  his 
own  country.  He  never  afterwards  had  any  credit  with  our 
king,  who  took  away  his  lances,  stopped  his  pension  of 
thirty-six  thousand  francs  for  the  county  of  Provence ;  and 
in  that  condition  he  stands  to  this  very  day,  which  is  the 
year  1497. 

*  Peace  was  concluded  on  the  11th  of  August,  1486. 

tf  In  contempt  of  his  plighted  word,  Ferdinand  ordered  the  arrest  of 
the  Princes  of  Altamura  and  Bisignano,  and  of  several  other  gentlemen, 
who  were  immediately  put  to  death,  and  their  bodies  sewn  up  in  sacKS, 
and  thrown  into  the  sea. — Sismondi,  xi.  278. 

X  Antonio  de  Sanseverino,  Count  of  Marsico  and  Prince  of  Salerno, 
»u  Grand  Admiral  of  Naples  in  1477,  and  died  in  1437 


b  a 


100  THE   MEMOIRS   OF  PHILIP   DE   COMMtNLS.  [I486. 


Ch.  II.  —  How  the  Prince  of  Salerno,  a  Neapolitan  by  Birth,  came 
into  France  ;  and  the  Endeavours  that  were  used  by  him  and  Ludovic 
Sforza,  surnamed  the  Moor,  to  persuade  the  King  to  make  War  upon 
the  King  of  Naples  ;  and  the  Occasion  of  it. —  1486-92. 

The  Prince  of  Salerno  with  three  of  his  nephews,  sons 
to  the  Prince  of  Bisignan  *,  fled  to  Venice,  where  he  had  great 
acquaintance.  Their  business  was  to  consult  the  senate 
(as  the  prince  told  me  himself),  to  know  what  prince  they 
should  address  themselves  to,  whether  to  the  Duke  of  Lor- 
raine, the  King  of  France,  or  the  King  of  Spain.  He  told 
me  their  answer  was,  that  the  Duke  of  Lorraine  was  a  dead 
man,  and  it  was  impossible  for  him  ever  to  relieve  them  ; 
i  hat  the  King  of  Spain  would  be  too  powerful  if  he  had  the 
kingdom  of  Naples  in  addition  to  the  isle  of  Sicily  and 
what  he  possessed  already  in  the  Gulf  of  Venice  ;  and  that 
his  strength  at  sea  was  very  considerable :  but  they  would 
rather  advise  them  to  apply  to  the  King  of  France,  for  with 
the  Kings  of  France  who  formerly  reigned  in  Naples,  the 
Venetians  had  held  very  good  friendship  and  amity ;  and 
this  I  believe  was  spoken  without  any  anticipation  of  what 
happened  afterwards.  The  conclusion  of  all  was  that  these 
barons  came  into  France,  where  they  were  well  received, 
but  indifferently  supplied.  They  solicited  very  hard  for  two 
years  together ;  and  all  their  applications  were  made  to 
Stephen  de  Vers,  at  that  time  seneschal  of  Beaucaire,  and 
chamberlain  to  the  king. 

One  day  they  were  in  hopes,  another  in  despair.  How- 
ever, their  friends  were  active  in  Italy,  especially  in  Milan, 
where  John  Galeasf  was  duke ;  not  the  great  Galeas  +,  who 

*  Girolamo  de  Sanseverino,  Count  of  Tricario  and  Prince  of  Bi- 
eignauo,  was  Grand  Chamberlain  to  Ferdinand  I  King  of  Naples.  He 
Was  treacherously  murdered  by  order  of  his  sovereign  in  1487. 

f  Gian  Galeazzo  Sforza  succeeded  to  the  dukedom  of  Milan  on  the 
assassination  of  his  father,  and  died  in  1494,  at  the  age  of  twenty-five. 
He  was  succeeded  by  his  uncle  Ludovic  the  Moor,  who  was  probably 
the  cause  of  his  death. 

1  Gian  Galeazzo  Visconti  became  Lord  of  Milan  in  1378,  on  the 
*  >ath  of  his  father  Galeazzo.  In  1395  he  obtained  from  the  Emperor 
"fenceslaus  a  diploma  creating  him  Duke  of  Milan  ;  and  by  a  sub- 
sequent imperial  diploma  the  boundaries  o/  his  duchy  were  defined,  aud 


I486.]  AFFAIRS   OF   MILAN.  101 

is  buried  in  the  Chartreux  at  Pavia,  but  the  son  of  Duke 
Galeas  *  and  the  Duchess  Bonaf,  a  daughter  of  the  House 
of  Savoy  ;  which  duke  being  a  weak  prince,  the  Duchess 
had  the  education  of  her  children  ;  and  I  saw  her  (when  she 
was  a  widow)  in  great  authority,  but  managed  by  one  of  her 
secretaries  called  Cico  J,  who  had  been  a  long  time  in  that 
family,  and  had  banished  or  imprisoned  all  the  brothers  §  of 
this  Duke  Galeas,  in  order  to  secure  the  duchess  and  her 
children.  Among  the  rest  he  banished  one  Ludovic  ||  (who 
has  since  become  Duke  of  Milan),  whom  she  afterwards 
recalled,  though  he  was  her  enemy,  and  actually  in  arms 
against  her;  as  she  did  also  the  Lord  Robert  di  St.  Seve- 
rino^f,  a  valiant  captain  whom  this  Cico  had  likewise  ban- 
ished. 

At  last,  by  the  persuasion  of  one  Anthony  Tassini  **,  who 
was  her  carver  (a  native  of  Ferrara,  and  of  mean   extrac- 

made  to  include  twenty-five  towns,  from  Verona  and  Vicefiza  on  the 
east  to  Alessandria  and  Tortona  on  the  west.  In  1402  he  was  only 
waiting  for  the  surrender  of  Florence  to  declare  himself  King  of  Italy, 
when  he  died  suddenly  of  the  plague. 

*  Galeazzo  Maria  Sforza,  son  of  the  eminent  Francesco  Sforza,  suc- 
ceeded his  father  as  Duke  of  Milan  in  1466.  Ten  years  afterwards,  on 
the  26th  December,  1476,  he  was  assassinated  in  a  solemn  procession, 
and  in  his  ducal  robes,  as  he  was  entering  the  Church  of  St.  Stefano. 

f  Bona  of  Savoy  assumed  the  regency  of  the  dukedom  on  the  death 
of  her  husband. 

%  Cecco  or  Francesco  Simoneta  was  a  native  of  Calabria,  whose  in- 
tegrity and  activity  had  recommended  him  to  the  patronage  of  Duke 
Francesco  Sforza.  He  afterwards  became  prime  minister  of  Duke 
Galeazzo  Maria.  On  the  11th  of  September,  1479,  he  was  arrested  and 
conveyed  to  the  Castle  of  Pavia,  where  he  was  beheaded  on  the  30th  of 
October,  1480.  He  was  brother  to  Giovanni  Simoneta,  whose  elegant 
Latin  history  of  the  life  of  Francesco  Sforza  is  one  of  the  best  records 
of  the  transactions  of  that  period. 

§  These  were  Sforza,  Duke  of  Bari,  Ludovic  the  Moor,  Ottaviano,  and 
Ascanio  Ottaviano  soon  after  perished  in  attempting  to  cross  the 
river  Adde. 

|  Ludovico  Maria  Sforza,  surnamed  the  Moor,  was  the  second  son  of 
Francesco  Sforza.  He  became  Duke  of  Milan  on  the  death  of  his  nephew 
Gian  Galeazzo  Sforza,  in  1494  ;  and  he  died  on  the  16th  of  June, 
1508. 

^1  Kobcrto  di  Sanscverino,  Count  of  Cajazzo,  and  Lieutenant-general 
of  the  armies  of  Italy. 

**  Antonio  Tassini,  a  Ferrarese,  Chamberlain  to  Galeazzo  Maria 
Duke  of  Milan. 

u  a 


102  THE    MEMOIRS    OF    PIIILIP    DE    COMMIXES.  [1488. 

tion),  she  recalled  them  very  indiscreetly;  presuming  that, 
according  to  their  oaths  and  promises,  they  would  do  no 
barm  to  Cico.  But  the  third  day  after  their  return  they 
took  Cico,  put  him  in  a  tub,  and  carried  him  through  the 
town  of  Milan  ;  for  he  was  allied  by  marriage  with  one  of 
the  family  of  the  Visconti,  and  had  he  been  in  the  way,  it  is 
said  they  would  not  have  dared  to  seize  Cico;  and  the  Lord 
Ludovic  contrived  that  Robert  di  St.  Severino,  who  was  to 
pass  that  way,  might  have  the  pleasure  of  meeting  him  in 
that  posture,  for  he  knew  he  abhorred  him  :  after  which 
Cico  was  conducted  to  the  castle  of  Pavia,  where  he  died  a 
prisoner. 

They  paid  the  lady  all  possible  respect,  and,  as  she 
thought,  complied  with  her  wishes  in  everything  ;  but  they 
held  private  councils  among  themselves,  and  never  com- 
municated anything  to  her  but  what  they  pleased  ;  and  she 
took  it  for  the  greatest  kindness  in  them  not  to  trouble  her 
with  anything.  They  gave  her  leave  to  give  Anthony 
Tassini  what  presents  she  pleased  :  they  assigned  him  an 
apartment  near  her  own,  and  permitted  him  to  carry  her 
on  horseback  behind  him  through  the  town  ;  and  nothing 
but  feasting  and  dancing  went  on  in  her  palace.  This  way 
of  living  did  not  continue  long,  scarce  half  a  year,  during 
which  time  she  made  him  many  rich  presents,  and  all 
packets  were  directed  to  him,  which  rendered  him  odious  to 
the  Lord  Ludovic  (uncle  to  the  two  children  *),  who  in- 
tended to  make  himself  sovereign,  as  he  did  afterwards. 
One  morning -j-  the  children  were  both  taken  from  their 
mother,  and  carried  to  a  castle  called  "  The  Rock  ;"  where 
they  were  confined  by  the  appointment  of  the  Lord  Ludovic, 
Robert  di  St.  Severino,  one  Pallevoisin  J  (the  young  duke's 
governor),  and  the  captain  of  the  castle  §,  who,  since  the 
death  of  Duke  Galeas,  had  never  stirred  out  of  it,  nor  did  he 
for  a  long  time  after  ;  till  at  length  he  was  taken  by  the  cir- 

*  Gian  Galeazzo,  mentioned  in  a  previous  note  ;  and  Hermes,  who, 
after  liis  brother's  death,  went  to  reside  in  Germany 

t  They  were  conveyed  to  this  castle  in  November,  1480,  after  the 
banishment  of  Antonio  Tassini. 

X  Gian  Francesco  Pallavicini,  one  of  the  young  duke's  lieutenants. 

§  Filippo  Eustachio  of  Pavia,  who  was  created  a  knight  by  the  young 
Duke  of  Milan  on  Christmas-day  in  the  year  1480. 


1489."       DISPUTE  BETAVEEN  LUDOVIC  AND  ST.  SEVERING-.      103 

cumvention  of  Ludovic,  and  the  folly  of  his  master,  who 
took  after  his  mother,  and  was  far  from  wise. 

When  these  persons  had  secured  the  children  in  the 
castle,  they  seized  upon  the  treasury  (which  at  that  time 
was  the  richest  in  Christendom),  and  took  an  account  of  it  ; 
after  which  they  caused  three  keys  to  be  made,  of  which  the 
duchess  had  one,  but  she  never  touched  one  farthing  of  the 
money  afterwards.  They  made  her  renounce  the  guardian- 
ship of  her  son  *,  and  the  Lord  Ludovic  was  appointed  in  her 
place  ;  besides  which  they  wrote  letters  to  several  places, 
and  particularly  into  France,  which  I  saw,  and  which  con- 
tained severe  remarks  on  her  conduct,  in  relation  to  her 
favourite  Anthony  Tassini  ;  yet  they  sent  him  away  with- 
out any  other  punishment,  for  the  Lord  Robert  was  his 
friend,  and  would  not  suffer  either  his  person  or  his  estate  to 
be  touched.  But  these  two  great  men  could  not  as  yet  get 
admittance  into  the  castle  when  they  pleased  ;  for  the  cap- 
tain had  a  brother  in  it,  and  near  a  hundred  and  fifty  men ; 
and  he  always  ordered  the  gate  to  be  very  strictly  guarded 
when  they  entered,  and  would  not  suffer  above  one  or  two 
to  come  in  with  them  ;  and  this  caution  was  used  for  a  long 
time. 

In  the  meanwhile  a  great  dispute  arose  between  the  Lord 
Ludovic  and  Robert  di  St.  Severino,  as  is  usual,  for  it  is  im- 
possible for  two  persons  in  authority  to  agree  long  together  ; 
but  Ludovic  getting  the  upper  hand,  the  other  quitted  Mi- 
lan, and  went  into  the  Venetian  service,  f  Yet  since  that 
time,  two  of  his  sons,  the  Lord  Galeas  j  and  the  Count  di 
Cajazzo§,  came  back  into  the  service  of  the  Lord  Ludovic, 
and  the  state  of  Milan ;  some  say  they  came  with    their 

*  The  young:  duke  was  declared  of  full  age  on  the  7th  of  October, 
1480  ;  and  the  duchess  left  Milan  on  the  2nd  of  November  following.  — ■ 
Sismonm,  xi.  174. 

t  He  was  declared  a  rebel  on  the  27th  of  January,  1482  ;  and  in  the 
month  of  March  following,  the  Venetians  appointed  him  their  Lieutenant- 
general. 

i  Galeazzo  di  Sanseverino  married  Bianca,  a  natural  daughter  of 
Ludovieo  Sforza.  He  was  killed  in  the  battle  of  Pavia,  in  February, 
1524. 

§  Gian  Francesco  di  Sanseverino,  Count  of  Cajazzo,  died  on  the  7th 
of  September,  1502.  He  and  his  brother  entered  the  service  of  the  Duke 
of  Milan  in  1483. 

ii  4 


104  THE   MEMOIRS   OF   PHILIP   DE    COMMINES.  [1490. 

father's  consent,  others  say  not  :  he  it  which  it  will,  Lu- 
dovic entertained  them  very  kindly,  and  they  did,  and  do 
still  *,  serve  him  very  faithfully.  You  must  know  that  the 
Lord  Robert,  their  father,  was  of  the  house  of  St.  Severinof , 
but  by  a  natural  daughter,  which  in  Italy  is  no  great  matter  ; 
for  a  natural  daughter  with  them  is  as  good  as  one  lawfully 
begotten.  I  mention  this  because  they  assisted  us  in  our 
enterprise  in  Italy,  in  favour  of  the  Prince  of  Salerno  (wlio 
is  chief  of  the  house  of  St.  Severino),  and  for  other  reasons, 
which  you  shall  hear  afterwards. 

The  Lord  Ludovic  began  presently  to  make  it  appear  that 
he  was  resolved  to  establish  his  authority;  and  he  caused 
money  to  be  coined  with  the  Duke's  effigy  on  one  side,  and 
his  own  on  the  other,  which  caused  abundance  of  the  people 
of  Milan  to  murmur.  The  duke  was  married  to  the  Duke 
of  Calabria's  daughter^,  who,  after  the  death  of  his  father, 
Ferrand  King  of  Naples,  became  king  himself  by  the  name 
of  Alphonso  ;  the  young  lady  was  very  courageous,  and 
would  fain  have  stimulated  her  husband  to  vindicate  his 
authority  ;  but  he  was  a  weak  prince,  and  merely  disclosed 
all  she  said.  The  captain  of  the  castle  maintained  his  repu- 
tation for  a  long  while,  and  never  stirred  from  his  fortress  ;  for 
suspicions  began  now  to  arise,  so  that  both  the  sons  never 
went  abroad  together,  but  when  one  went  forth  the  other 
stayed  at  home.  In  short,  about  a  year  or  two  before  our 
expedition  into  Italy,  this  Lord  Ludovic,  having  been 
abroad  with  the  young  duke,  waited  on  him  back  to  the 
castle,  to  receive  homage  of  his  subjects.  The  captain  as 
usual  ordered  the  drawbridge  to  be  let  down,  and  advanced 
a  little  way  upon  it  with  some  of  his  officers  to  receive  the 
duke  and  kiss  his  hand,  according  to  the  usual  custom  ;  the 
duke  being  at  some  distance  from  the  bridge,  the  captain 
was  forced  to  step  forward  a  pace  or  two;  upon  which  the 
two  sons  of  St.  Severino,  and  others  that  were  with  them, 

*  This  was  probably  written  in  1497. 

f  Instead  of  Sanseverino  we  should  here  read  Sforza  ;  for  Roberto  di 
Sanseverino's  mother  was  Lisa  Attendolo,  a  natural  daughter  of  Muzio 
Attendolo,  the  father  of  Franeesco  Sforza,  Duke  of  Milan.  See  note, 
Vol.  I.  p.  52. 

X  Isabella,  daughter  of  Alphonso  II.,  King  of  Naples.  She  died  io 
1524. 


1492.1  LUDOVIC*S   SEIZURE    OP   THE   CASTLE.  105 

■J 

seized  on  liim  and  secured  him.  Those  of  the  castle  pulled 
rp  the  drawbridge,  upon  which  Ludovic,  causing  the  end 
of  a  candle  to  be  lighted,  swore  he  would  cut  off  their  heads 
if  they  did  not  surrender  the  castle  before  the  candle  was 
burnt  out ;  upon  which  they  submitted,  and  he  fortified  the 
castle,  and  put  a  strong  garrison  in  it  tor  himself,  though  all 
was  done  in  the  duke's  name.  Ludovic  also  caused  a  charge  to 
be  made  against  the  captain,  upon  pretence  that  he  intended 
to  deliver  up  the  castle  to  the  emperor,  and  he  seized  upon 
several  Germans,  who  (as  he  gave  out)  were  agents  in  the 
business,  but  discharged  them  again  ;  and  he  beheaded  one 
of  his  secretaries  *  as  having  been  a  principal  manager  of 
that  affair,  and  another  for  carrying  messages  betwixt  them. 
Ludovic  kept  the  captain  a  long  while  in  prison,  but  at  last 
he  released  him,  stating  that,  when  the  Duchess  Bona  of 
Milan  had  once  upon  a  time  corrupted  one  of  the  captain's 
brothers,  and  hired  him  to  kill  him  as  he  was  entering  into 
the  castle,  the  captain  had  prevented  it ;  and  upon  that 
account  he  now  spared  his  life.f  Yet  I  am  of  opinion,  had 
he  been  guilty  of  a  design  of  delivering  that  castle  to  the 
emperor  (who  had  a  double  title  to  it  both  as  emperor!  and 
as  Duke  of  Austria,  which  family  claims  it  likewise),  he 
would  scarce  have  pardoned  him,  for  it  would  have  produced 
great  disturbance  in  Italy,  and  the  whole  state  of  Milan 
"would  have  revolted  in  a  day;  for  whilst  they  were  under 
the  dominion  of  the  emperors,  they  paid  only  half  a  ducat 
taxes ;  but  now,  both  clergy,  nobility,  and  people  are 
cruelly  oppressed,  and  are,  to  speak  the  truth,  under  a 
perfect  tyranny. 

*  Ludovico  Terzago,  a  secretary  and  relative  of  Ludovico  Sforza,  wai 
sent  by  him  to  Pavia,  where  he  was  long  kept  a  prisoner,  and  eventually 
Starved  to  death,  according  to  popular  rumour.     Corio,  p.  880. 

f  A  plot  against  Ludovic  was  to  have  broken  out  on  the  7th  of  De- 
cember, 1485  ;  among  the  conspirators  were  two  brothers  of  Captain 
Eustachio.  —  Corio,  p.  866. 

X  The  duchy  of  Milan  was  then  a  fief  of  the  empire. 


106  TTIE   MEMOIRS   OP   PHILIP   DE   COMMINES.  [1492. 


Ch.  III. — How  the  Duchy  of  Milan  is  one  of  the  finest  and  most  valuable 
Territories  in  the  World,  if  relieved  from  the  heavy  Tribute  which 
oppresses  it. — 1492-3. 

The  Lord  Ludovic,  being  in  possession  of  this  castle,  and 
finding  all  the  soldiers  belonging  to  the  family  devoted  to 
his  service,  resolved  to  proceed  ;  for  he  that  is  master  of 
Milan  has  the  whole  government  and  signory  at  his  mercy  ; 
because  the  principal  senators,  and  those  who  have  the 
charge  of  other  places  in  that  government,  have  their  resid- 
ence in  that  city.  And,  for  the  size  of  it,  I  never  saw  a 
richer  or  finer  country  than  the  duchy  of  Milan  :  and  if  the 
prince  could  content  himself  with  a  yearly  revenue  of  five 
hundred  thousand  ducats,  the  subjects  would  grow  only  too 
wealthy,  and  the  prince  would  be  secure  ;  but  he  raises  six 
hundred  and  fifty  or  seven  hundred  thousand  ducats  every 
year,  which  is  absolute  tyranny,  and  makes  the  people  prone 
to  revolutions.  Finding  himself  so  near  the  completion  of 
bis  wishes,  as  has  been  said  before,  the  Lord  Ludovic  (who 
was  married  to  the  Duke  of  Ferrara's  daughter*,  by  whom 
he  had  several  children)  took  measures  to  strengthen  himself 
with  friends,  both  in  Italy  and  abroad.  He  first  entered 
into  an  alliance  (for  mutual  preservation)  with  the  Vene- 
tians-]-, to  whom  he  was  a  great  friend,  to  the  prejudice  of 
his  father-in-law,  from  whom,  not  long  before,  the  Venetians 
had  taken  a  small  territory  called  the  PolesanJ,  encompassed 
entirely  with  water,  and  wonderfully  fruitful;  which  place 
(though  but  half  a  league  distant  from  Ferrara)  the  Vene- 
tians keep  to  this  day,  and  in  it  there  are  two  pretty  towns, 
Rovigo  and  Labadio§,  which  I  have  seen.  This  country 
was   lost   when  the  Duke  of  Ferrara  made  war  upon  the 

*  Beatrice  d'Este  vr&s  married  to  Ludovico  Sforza  on  the  18th  of 
January,  1491  ;  and  died  on  the  2nd  of  January,  1497.  She  was  the 
daughter  of  Hercules  d'Este,  Duke  of  Ferrara,  who  succeeded  his  brother 
Borso  in  1471. 

f  By  a  treaty  dated  on  the  7th  of  August,  1484  — Sismondi,  xi.  243. 

j  Rovigo,  the  chief  town  of  the  Polesina,  surrendered  to  the  Venetians 
on  the  17th  of  August,  1482. 

§  Badia,  a  small  town  to  the  west  of  Rovigo,  and  near  the  rigr  t  bank 
af  the  Adige. 


1493. J       LUDOVIC  SOLICITS  AN  EXPEDITION  TO  NAPLES.        107 

Venetians  at  first  by  himself;  but  before  the  end  of  the 
war  Alfonso,  Duke  of  Calabria  (whilst  his  father  Ferrand 
was  alive \  Count  Ludovic  with  the  forces  of  Milan,  the 
Florentines,  the  Pope*,  and  the  city  of  Bologna,  came  in  to 
his  assistance  :  yet,  when  the  Venetians  were  almost  con- 
quered, or  at  least  very  low,  with  their  treasury  exhausted, 
and  several  of  their  towns  lost,  Ludovic  made  an  honourable 
and  advantageous  peace  for  them,  by  which  all  was  to  be 
restored  to  everybody  but  the  poor  Duke  of  Ferrara,  who 
had  begun  the  war  at  the  instigation  of  Ludovic  and 
Ferrand,  whose  daughter  he  had  married  ;  and  the  Duke  of 
Ferrara  was  forced  to  let  the  Polesan  remain  in  the  hands 
of  the  Venetians,  who  keep  it  to  this  day.  It  was  reported 
that  Ludovic  had  sixty  thousand  ducats  for  his  pains  ; 
whether  this  be  true  or  false  I  cannot  state  ;  but  I  know  the 
Duke  of  Ferrara  was  of  that  opinion  himself.  Ludovic  at  this 
time  was  not  married  to  his  daughter;  and  therefore  the 
friendship  between  him  and  the  Venetians  subsisted. 

None  of  all  the  subjects  or  relations  of  John  Galeas,  Duke 
of  Milan,  gave  the  Lord  Ludovic  the  least  disturbance  in  his 
designs  upon  the  duchy  except  the  young  duchess,  who  was  a 
wise  lady,  daughter  to  Alphonso,  Duke  of  Calabria  (as  I  said 
before),  eldest  son  to  Ferrand,  King  of  Naples.  In  the  year 
1493  the  Lord  Ludovic  began  to  solicit  King  Charles  VIII., 
now  reigning  in  France,  to  undertake  an  expedition  into 
Italy,  to  conquer  the  kingdom  of  Naples,  and  to  supplant 
and  exterminate  those  who  possessed  it ;  for,  whilst  they 
were  in  force  and  authority,  Ludovic  durst  not  attempt  what 
he  did  afterwards;  for  at  that  time  Ferrand,  King  of  Sicily, 
and  Alphonso  his  son,  were  both  very  rich,  of  great  experience 
in  war,  and  had  the  reputation  of  being  very  valiant  princes, 
though  it  appeared  otherwise  afterwards. t  This  Ludovic  was 
a  wise  man,  but  very  timorous  and  humble  where  he  was  in 
awe,  and  false  and  deceitful  when  it  was  for  his  advantage; 
and  this  I  do  not  speak  by  hearsay,  but  as  one  that  knew 
him  well,  and  had  many  transactions  with  him.  But  to 
proceed,  in  the  year  H93  he  began  to  tickle  King  Charles 

*  Pope  Sixtus  IV. 

t  The  arrival  of  Charles  VIII.  in  Italy,  and  his  early  successes,  80 
terrified  Alphonso,  that  he  abdicated  the  crown  in  favour  of  his  son. 


108  THE    MEMOIRS    DF    PIIILIP    DE    COMMINES.  [1493. 

(who  w;is  but  twenty-two  years  of  age)  with  the  vanities 
and  glories  of  Italy,  remonstrating  (as  is  reported)  the  right 
which  he  had  to  the  fine  kingdom  of  Naples,  which  he  knew 
well  enough  how  to  blazon  and  display.  He  addressed  him- 
self in  everything  to  Stephen  de  Vers  (who  was  now  be- 
come seneschal  of  Beaucaire,  and  was  much  enriched,  though 
not  yet  to  the  full  height  of  his  ambitious  desires)  and  to 
Genera]  Brissonet,  who  was  rich  and  well  skilled  in  the 
management  of  the  finances,  and  a  great  friend  of  the  sene- 
schal of  Beaucaire,  by  whose  means  the  Lord  Ludovic  per- 
suaded Brissonet  to  turn  priest,  and  he  would  make  him  a 
cardinal ;  hut  the  seneschal  was  to  have  a  duchy. 

For  the  better  management  of  these  affairs,  the  Lord 
Ludovic,  in  the  year  1493,  sent  a  great  embassy  to  the  king 
at  Paris.  The  chief  of  the  embassy  was  the  Count  di  Ca- 
jazzo,  eldest  son  of  Robert  di  St.  Severino  (whom  I  men- 
tioned before).  At  Paris  the  Count  di  Cajazzo  met  the 
Prince  of  Salerno,  who  was  his  cousin,  and  chief  of  the 
house  of  St.  Severino,  and  who,  having  been  banished  his  own 
country  by  King  Ferrand,  was  then  in  France,  pressing  and 
soliciting  our  king  to  an  enterprise  against  Naples.  With 
the  Count  di  Cajazzo  came  also  Count  Charles  de  Belle- 
joyeuse  *,  and  the  Lord  Galeas  Visconti  t  of  Milan  :  both  of 
them  were  well  attended,  and  in  great  splendour  ;  but  their 
discourse  was  only  in  public,  and  then  in  general  terms  by 
the  way  of  compliment  and  visitation ;  and  this  was  the 
first  solemn  embassy  that  ever  Ludovic  sent  to  the  king.  He 
had  formerly  sent  one  of  his  secretaries  to  endeavour  to  pro- 
cure that  his  nephew,  the  Duke  of  Milan,  might  be  permitted 
to  do  hone  age  for  Genoa,  by  proxy,  which  was  granted 
against  all  reason.  It  is  true,  the  king  was  at  liberty  to  do 
him  that  favour,  and  depute  some  person  or  other  to  receive 
his  homage;  for,  when  he  was  under  the  guardianship  of 
his  mother,  I  (being  then  ambassador  at  Milan  for  the  late 
King  Louis  XI.)  received  it  by  commission  from  the  king  in 
the  castle  of  Milan  ;  but  then  Genoa  was  out  of  his  hands, 


*  Carlo  Balbiano,  Count  of  Belgioioso. 

t  Galeazzo  Visconti  was  one  of  those  Milanese  nobles  who  nomi- 
nated Ludovic  the  Moor,  Duke  of  Milan,  in  1494,  to  the  prejudice  o( 
Francesco  Sforza. 


1493.]  MILANESE    AMBASSADORS   IX   PARIS.  109 

and  in  the  possession  of  Baptista  di  Campoforgoso  *,  and 
now  the  Lord  Ludovic  had  recovered  it,  ami  gave  eight 
thousand  ducats  (to  some  chamberlains  of  t lie  king)  to  have 
the  investiture  of  it  But  they  did  their  master  a  mighty 
injury  thereby,  for  they  might  have  had  Genoa  for  him  if 
they  had  wished ;  or,  it  it  must  be  sold,  why  for  so  little ; 
a9  Duke  Galeas  paid  my  master,  King  Louis,  fifty  thousand 
ducats  at  one  payment,  of  which  sum  I  had  thirty  thousand 
crowns  given  me  by  his  majesty,  whom  may  God  pardon  ! 
and  yet  they  pretended  they  received  the  eight  thousand 
ducats  by  the  king's  consent.  Stephen  de  Vers  was  one  of 
the  number  of  those  that  received  the  money,  and  I  think  he 
beat  down  the  price  to  prepare  and  oblige  Ludovic  to  back 
his  interest,  when  his  design  should  be  fit  for  execution. 

The  ambassadors  having  arrived  at  Paris  (as  I  said  be- 
fore), and  having  had  their  public  audience,  the  king  took 
the  Count  di  Cajazzo  into  his  closet,  and  had  a  private  con- 
ference with  him  for  some  time.  This  Count  di  Cajazzo 
was  in  great  reputation  in  Milan,  and  his  brother  Galeas  di 
St.  Severino  was  in  greater  credit,  especially  in  military 
affairs ;  and  he  began  to  make  large  offers  of  his  service  and 
assistance  to  the  king,  both  in  men  and  money  ;  for  his 
master  had  already  as  absolute  a  command  of  the  state  of 
Milan  as  if  it  had  been  his  own,  and  could  dispose  of  it  as 
he  pleased.  He  represented  the  business  very  easy  to  the 
king,  and  a  few  days  after,  he  and  the  Lord  Galea9  took 
their  leave  of  his  majesty  and  departed  ;  but  Count  Charles 
de  Bellejoyeuse  remained  behind,  to  promote  the  business, 
and  immediately  after  they  were  gone,  he  dressed  himself  in 
the  French  habit,  and  managed  the  affair  so  dexterously, 
that  several  of  the  courtiers  began  to  approve  of  the  design. 
The  king  sent  into  Italy  one  Peron  de  Bashe-j*  (educated  in 
the  family  of  Anjou,  under  John,  Duke  of  Calabria)  as  his 
ambassador  to  Pope  Innocent,  the  Venetians,  and  the  Flo- 
rentines. These  embassies  from  one  court  to  another,  and 
secret  negotiations,  continued  seven  or  eight  months,  and 

*  In  1478  the  Genoese  revolted  from  Milan,  proclaimed  their  inde- 
pendence, and  elected  Baptists  Fregosi  as  their  doge  ;  but  in  1487 
they  were  again  reduced  to  subjection  to  the  dukes  of  Milan. 

t  Perron  de  Bachi,  son  of  Berthol  de  Bachi,  one  of  the  equerries  ci 
Louis,  King  of  Naples. 


110  THE   MEMOIRS  OF   PHILIF   DE   OOMMINES.  [1493. 

among  those  who  were  pri\y  to  it,  the  enterprise  was  talked 
of  in  several  ways  ;  but  none  of  them  ever  imagined  that 
the  king  designed  to  go  himself  in  person. 


Ch.  IV.  —  How  King  Charles  VIII.  made  Peace  with  the  King  of  the 
Romans  and  the  Archduke  of  Austria  ;  and  returned  the  Lady  Mar- 
garet of  Flanders  to  them,  before  his  Expedition  to  Naples. — 1493. 

During  this  suspension  of  affairs,  a  peace  was  negotiated  at 
Senlis  *  betwixt  the  king  and  the  Archduke  of  Austria,  heir 
to  the  house  of  Burgundy,  for,  though  a  truce  w;is  already 
concluded  f ,  yet  new  occasion  of  difference  had  arisen;  for 
the  king  forsook  the  daughter  of  the  King  of  the  Roman9, 
and  sister  to  the  archduke  (upon  account  of  her  being  too 
young  X),  and  married  the  daughter  §  of  Francis,  Duke  of 
Bretagne,  that  he  might  keep  that  duchy  peaceably ;  the 
greatest  part  of  it  at  the  time  of  the  treaty  was  in  his  pos- 
session, except  the  town  of  Rennes,  where  the  young  lady 
lived,  under  the  guardianship  of  her  uncle,  the  Prince  of 
Orange,  who  had  been  instrumental  in  making  the  match 
between  her  and  the  King  of  the  Romans,  and  married  her 
by  proxy  publicly  in  the  church,  about  the  year  1492.  In 
favour  of  the  archduke,  the  Emperor  Frederick  sent  a 
solemn  embassy,  and  offered  his  mediation.  The  King  of 
the  Romans,  the  Count  Palatine,  and  the  Swiss  did  the  like, 
in  order  to  compose  this  difference  ;  for  they  all  were  of 
opinion  great  disputes  would  arise  ||,   and  that  the  King  of 

*  This  treaty  was  dated  at  Senlis,  on  the  23rd  of  May,  1493.  It  is 
printed  at  the  end  of  this  chapter. 

f  At  Frankfort,  on  the  22nd  of  July,  1489. 

j  Margaret  was  then  thirteen  years  old. 

§  Anne,  Duchess  of  Bretagne,  was  born  on  the  26th  of  January,  1476  ; 
in  1490  she  was  married  by  proxy  to  the  Archduke  Maximilian  ;  but, 
preferring  Charles  VIII.,  she  was  married  to  him  on  the  6th  of  De- 
cember, 1491  ;  she  became  a  widow  in  April,  1497,  and  on  the  8th  of 
January  following  she  married  Louis  XII.,  her  deceased  husband's  suc- 
cessor on  the  throne  of  France.     She  died  on  the  9th  of  January,  1574. 

|  It  is  evident,  from  couteniporarv  documents,  that  the  emperor  wa» 


1493-1  PEACE    OF    SF.NMS.  Ill 

the  Romans  had  had  very  greac  in  ury  done  him  ;  not  only  to 
take  from  him  a  person  whom  lie  thought  was  his  wife,  but 
to  send  back  his  daughter  who  had  been  lawfully  Queen  of 
France  for  several  years  together. 

In  the  end,  a  peace  was  concluded ;  for  everybody  was 
weary  of  war,  especially  Archduke  Philip's  subjects,  who 
had  suffered  so  much  both  by  tlieir  wars  with  the  king  and 
their  distractions  and  divisions  at  home,  that  they  were  not 
able  to  carry  it  on  any  longer.  The  peace  was  made  only 
for  four  years,  to  give  some  repose ;  and  Maximilian's 
daughter  was  to  be  sent  back,  though  with  some  difficulty  ; 
for  there  were  some  persons  about  both  the  king  and  tha 
lady  who  strenuously  opposed  it.  I  was  present  at  this 
treaty  myself,  with  the  rest  of  the  commissioners,  who  were 
Peter,  Duke  of  Bourbon,  the  Prince  of  Orange,  the  Lord  des 
Cordes,  and  several  other  persons  of  quality.  It  was  con- 
cluded, that  all  the  king  was  possessed  of  in  the  province  of 
Artois  should  be  restored  to  Duke  Philip,  according  to  the 
agreement  made  in  the  treaty  of  marriage  in  1482,  that  if 
that  marriage  were  not  accomplished,  then  all  the  lands 
which  went  in  dower  with  the  daughter,  should  be  restored, 
either  to  her  or  Duke  Philip.  But  the  archduke's  subjects 
had  already  taken  Arras  and  St.  Omers  *,  so  that  there 
remained  nothing  to  he  restored  but  Hesdin,  Aire,  and 
Bethune ;  the  revenue  and  lordship  of  which  places 
were  immediately  delivered  to  the  archduke's  envoys,  and 
they  put  in  what  officers  they  pleased,  only  the  king  was 
to  remain  in  possession  of  the  castles  tor  the  term  of 
four  years :  during  which  time  he  might  put  what  garri- 
sons he  pleased  into  them ;  but  at  the  end  of  four  years, 
which  were  to  expire  on  St.  John's  Day,  1498,  the  king  was 
obliged,  both  by  oath  and  promise,  to  restore  them  to  the 
archduke. 

Whether  these  changes  of  marriages  were  according  to 
the  laws  and  canons  of  the  church  or  not,  I  cannot  resolve, 
and,  therefore,  shall  leave  it  without  any  determination  ;  for 

really  making  preparations  for  war  with  the  King  of  France  on  account 
of  this  twofold  insult  to  his  family. — See  Dupont,  iii.  360. 

*  Arras  was  taken  by  the  Burgundians  on  the  5th  of  November, 
1-492.  They  had  recovered  St.  Omer  on  the  11th  of  February,  1488.  — 
Mulinlt,  ixi.  447. 


112  THE   MEMOIRS   OF   THILIP   DE    COMM1NES.         [1493k 

I  find  the  theological  doctors  divided  about  this  point,  and 
some  have  told  me  they  were  not  lawful,  but  others  have 
maintained  that  they  were.  Be  it  which  way  it  will,  the 
ladies  were  all  unfortunate  in  their  children.  Our  queen 
had  three  sons  *  successively  in  four  years,  but  all  of  them 
died,  though  one  lived  to  be  three  years  old.  The  Lady 
Margaret  of  Austria  was  married  to  the  Prince  of  Castile  t, 
only  son  to  the  King  and  Queen  of  Castile  and  several  other 
kingdoms;  which  prince  died  in  the  first  year  of  his  mar- 
riage, (which  was  in  the  year  1487),  leaving  his  princess 
with  child,  and  she  miscarried  of  a  son  not  long  after  his 
death,  to  the  unspeakable  affliction  of  the  King  and  Queen 
of  Castile,  and  the  whole  kingdom. 

Presently  after  these  changes,  the  King  of  the  Romans 
married  the  daughter  J  of  Galeas,  Duke  of  Milan,  sister  to 
the  above-mentioned  Duke  John  Galeas ;  which  marriage 
was  contracted  by  the  Lord  Ludovic,  highly  to  the  dissatis- 
faction of  the  princes  of  the  empire,  and  several  other  of  the 
King  of  the  Romans'  friends,  who  looked  upon  the  lady  as 
not  of  an  extraction  illustrious  enough  for  him.  For,  as  for 
the  Visconti,  from  whom  the  present  Dukes  of  Milan  are 
descended,  there  is  no  great  matter  of  nobility  among  them, 
and  less  among  the  Sforzi  ;  for  the  first  of  that  house  was 
Duke  Francis,  whose  father  was  a  shoemaker  §  in  a  little 
town  called  Cotignole  ;  but  he  was  a  brave  and  magnificent 
person,  and  his  son  was  even  greater  ;  for  he  made  himself 
Duke  of  Milan,  by  the  assistance  and  management  of  his 
wife  ||  (who    was   the    natural    daughter   of  Duke    Philip 

*  These  sons  were  Charles  Orlando,  born  on  the  10th  of  October, 
J  492,  and  died  on  the  6th  of  December,  1495  ;  Charles,  born  on  the  8th 
of  September,  149L,  and  died  on  the  2nd  of  October  following;  and 
Francis,  who  lived  ou*y  a  few  days.  —  Anselme,  i.  125. 

f  John,  Infante  of  Castille,  died  on  the  4th  of  October,  1497.  See 
note,  Vol.  I.  p.  394. 

|  Bianca  Maria,  widow  of  Philibert  I.,  Puke  of  Savoy,  after  twelve 
years'  widowhood,  married  the  King  of  the  Romans  on  the  16th  of 
March,  1494,  and  died  on  the  31st  of  December,  1510. 

§  Muzio  Attendolo,  surnamed  Sforza,  was  born  at  Cotignola,  in  TJo- 
magvia,  on  the  28th  of  May,  1369-  At  first  distinguished  for  prodigious 
strength  of  body  and  undaunted  bravery,  he  soon  became  equally  dis- 
tinguished in  military  tactics,  and  was  one  of  the  greatest  condottieri  of 
the  fourteenth  century.     He  died  on  the  4th  of  January,  1424. 

Bianca  Maria  Viscomi  married  Francesco  Sforza  ou  the  28th  of 


I4y3.  I  TREATY  OF   SENLIS.  113 

Maria)  conquered  it,  and  possessed  it,  not  as  a  tyrant,  but 
as  ii  good  and  lawful  prince  ;  being  equal  in  virtue  and  good- 
ness with  most  (and  those  of  the  best)  princes  of  his  time. 
Thus  much  I  have  written  that  I  might  show  what  has  al- 
ready been  the  consequence  of  these  changes  of  marriages  ; 
nor  can  I  tell  what  there  is  still  remaining  behind. 


A  Treaty  of  Peace  between  King  Charles  VIII.  and  Maxi- 
milian 1.,  King  of  the  Romans,  and  his  Son,  Philip, 
Archduke  of  Austria,  concluded  at  Senlis,  May  23.  1493. 

1.  A  good  peare,  firm  friendship,  and  perpetual  alliance, 
is  and  shall  ever  remain  between  the  most  Christian  king, 
the  dauphin,  their  kingdom,  territories,  and  subjects,  and 
the  King  of  the  Romans,  and  Archduke  Philip  his  son,  as 
well  in  their  own  name,  as  in  the  name  of  the  Lady  Margaret 
of  Austria,  the  said  king's  daughter,  and  the  archduke's 
sister,  for  themselves,  their  countries,  territories,  subjects, 
&c,  laying  aside  all  malevolence,  and  forgetting  all  past 
injuries. 

2.  Seeing  that  the  most  Christian  king,  after  his  marriage 
to  the  queen,  hath  notified  by  his  ambassadors  to  the  King 
of  the  Romans  and  the  archduke,  his  desire  to  send  back 
the  said  Lady  Margaret,  and  to  have  her  conducted  suitably 
to  her  quality,  to  any  place  agreed  on,  and  for  this  end  hath 
sent  her  as  far  a3  Amiens ;  he  does  still  offer,  at  his  own 
charge,  to  conduct  her  suitably  to  her  quality,  from  the  town 
of  Meaux,  where  she  now  resides,  before  the  3rd  of  June 
next,  to  St.  Quentin,  and  to  put  her  from  thenceforward  into 
the  hands  of  the  ambassadors  of  the  King  of  the  Romans 
and  the  archduke. 

3.  Upon  such  a  delivery  of  the  said  lady  into  the  hands 
of  the  commissioners  appointed  by  the  King  of  the  Romans 
and  the  archduke,  the  said  princes  shall  give  proper  instru- 

Iments  to  the  king,  freeing  him  from  all  obligations  of  mar- 
riage with  her,  and  he  shall  also  do  the  same  by  her. 
4.  The  most  Christian  king  and  the  archduke  reserve  to 
themselves  the  liberty  of  recovering  any  rights  in  an  arnica- 
October,  1441,  and  died  on  the  23rd  of  October,  1469,  it  ia  believed  oi 
poison. 

vol.  n.  i 


114  THE    MEMOIRS   OF    PHILIP    I>E    COMMIXES.  [1193. 

ble  way,  and  by  course  of  law,  to  such  matters  as  are  not 
adjusted  by  this  peace. 

5.  The  counties  of  Burgundy,  Artois,  and  Charolois,  and 
the  lordship  of  Noyers,  with  all  their  appurtenances,  shall 
be  delivered  up  to  the  King  of  the  Romans,  as  guardian  to 
his  son  the  archduke;  and  also  the  towns  and  castles  of 
Hesdin,  Aire,  and  Bethune,  now  in  possession  of  the  King 
of  France,  shall  be  deposited  in  the  hands  of  the  Marshal 
des  Querdes,  who  shall  keep  them  without  any  charge  to  the 
archduke,  save  the  usual  profits  taken  by  the  commanders  of 
the  said  places;  and  he  shall  take,  an  oath  to  both  the  king 
and  archduke  for  the  due  maintenance  of  their  several 
rights,  and  shall  keep  no  guard  therein,  that  may  be  preju- 
dicial to  either  party  ;  who  shall  engage  not  to  force  him 
thereunto  on  either  side:  and  if  they  do,  he  shall  then  be 
discharged  of  all  his  oaths,  till  the  archduke  shall  arrive  at 
the  age  of  twenty,  which  will  be  on  St.  John  Baptist's  Eve, 
in  1498. 

6.  The  archduke,  after  he  is  of  age,  having  done  homage 
to  the  king  in  due  form,  those  towns  and  places  shall  be 
given  up  to  him  by  the  marshal  or  others  appointed  to  do  it, 
and  to  have  the  command  therein. 

7.  The  officers  shall  continue  in  their  places,  having  com- 
missions from  the  archduke  till  he  comes  of  age  and  does 
homage. 

8.  As  to  the  city  of  Arras,  its  revenue  and  temporalities, 
it  shall  be  deposited  in  the  hands  of  the  bishop  and  chapter, 
to  whom  it  belongs,  under  the  ordinary  jurisdiction  of  the 
bailiwick  of  Amiens,  in  the  usual  manner ;  and  as  to  the 
captainship,  which  is  in  the  king's  disposal,  he  shall  be  con- 
tent to  appoint  the  person  that  now  is,  or  shall  be,  nominated 
by  the  archduke  till  of  age,  under  the  usual  obligations  ;  but 
the  city  shall  be  entirely  in  the  king's  power,  when  the  arch- 
duke comes  of  age. 

9.  The  houses  of  Flanders,  Artois,  and  Conflans,  in  and 
near  Paris,  shall  be  delivered  to  the  archduke. 

10.  The  archduke  shall  not  be  obliged  to  do  homage  till 
he  is  of  age  ;  but  the  king  shall,  at  the  same  time,  enjoy  his 
usual  rights  and  prerogatives. 

11.  The  counties  ot  Maconnois,  Auxerrois,  and  Bar-sur- 
Seine,  shall  be  enjoyed  by  the  king,  till  the  pretensions  of 
the  claimants  are  decided. 


1493.]  TREATY   OF    SENLIS.  115 

12.  Whatever  rights  the  archduke  pretends  to  have  ac- 
quired by  the  treaty  of  1482,  shall  remain  in  being,  and  the 
king  shall  be  free  to  controvert  the  same. 

13.  The  ecclesiastical  preferments  conferred  by  the  king 
in  Artois,  Burgundy,  Charolois,  and  Noyers,  shall  remain  as 
they  are. 

14.  Free  commerce  shall  be  restored  both  by  sea  and  land, 
and  on  fresh  waters,  paying  the  usual  customs  due  before 
the  breaking  out  of  the  war. 

15.  The  cities,  towns,  and  villages  of  Tournay,  Tourne- 
sis,  Mortagne,  St.  Amand,  &c,  as  the  king's  subjects,  are 
expressly  comprehended  in  this  peace  ;  so  are  the  allies  of 
both  parties. 

16.  Cambray  and  the  Cambresis,  with  all  its  inhabitants, 
are,  by  common  consent,  included  in  the  peace,  and  main- 
tained in  all  their  rights  under  either  prince  to  whom  they 
belong;  and  infractors  on  either  side  shall  be  punished  by  the 
conservators  of  the  peace. 

17.  A  general  act  of  indemnity  shall  be  granted  by  both 
parties,  to  all  who  have  taken  up  arms,  for  the  contrary 
side,  no  process  being  ever  to  be  brought  against  them  :  and 
to  those  who  have  a  mind  to  sue  out  a  pardon,  it  shall  be 
freely  granted. 

18.  All  persons,  as  well  ecclesiastics  as  laymen,  shall,  by 
this  peace,  return  to  the  peaceable  possession  of  their  digni- 
ties, benefices,  and  inheritances,  wherever  situated,  on  either 
side,  and  be  kept  in  the  peaceable  possession  of  the  same, 
notwithstanding  any  declarations,  confiscations,  sentences, 
and  decrees  to  the  contrary;  and  the  judges,  magistrates, 
&c,  shall  be  obliged  to  assist  herein. 

19.  Under  this  article  of  returning  to  their  estates  and 
rights  are  comprehended  the,  old  servants  of  the  late  Dukes 
Philip  and  Charles,  who,  after  the  death  of  Duke  Charles, 
went  over  to  the  king  ;  by  virtue  of  this  peace,  they  shall 
enjoy  their  pensions  assigned  them  in  his  lifetime,  upon  the 
demesnes  of  the  counties  of  Artois  and  Burgundy. 

20.  If  any  inheritance  have  been  sold  for  contumacy,  or 
on  the  account  of  personal  debts  owing,  the  debtors  shall, 
within  a  year  after  the  proclaiming  of  the  peace,  return  to 
their  possessions,  paying  the  said  debts,  &c. 

21.  As   to   the   rents,  profits,    and     neomes  of   those  in- 

x  a 


116  THE   MEMOIRS   OF   PHILIP   DE    COMMUTES.  [1493. 

hei  itances,  granted  in  a  way  of  reward,  or  the  like,  by  either 
party,  all  that  has  been  done  of  that  kind  since  1470,  to  the 
present  peace,  shall  never  be  accounted  for;  but  yet  with 
an  exception  to  any  inheritances  that,  in  due  course  of  law, 
have  been  adjudged  to  creditors  for  arrearages  of  rents, 
which  arrearages  have  been  given  away  or  remitted,  such 
gifts  or  releaseinents  shall  not  take  place,  but  only  for  such 
arrearages  as  have  escheated  in  time  of  war. 

22.  As  to  moveables  which  have  not  been  made  away, 
but  are  found  upon  the  premises  which  the  subjects  of 
either  party  shall  return  to,  the  debts  and  arrearages  that 
have  not  been  given  away  nor  adjudged  hy  law,  shall  belong 
to  the  said  subjects,  and  not  to  those  who  have  a  general 
list  of  their  moveables. 

23.  The  enjoyment  of  dignities, benefices,  inheritances,  &c, 
by  the  subjects  of  either  party,  shall  not  oblige  them  to 
reside  where  those  possessions  are;  neither  are  they  thereby 
bound  to  take  an  oath  to  the  prince  in  whose  dominions  they 
are  situated,  unless  they  are  fiefs,  and  their  vassals. 

24.  Those  who  shall  return  to  their  estates  by  virtue  of 
this  peace,  shall  not  be  prosecuted  for  rent  charges  escheated 
during  the  war  ;  and  those  lands  which  lay  waste  and  un- 
cultivated during  the  war,  shall  be  liable  to  the  payment  of 
no  rents. 

25.  No  reprisals  shall  be  made  after  the  peace,  upon  the 
account  of  damages  sustained  by  the  subjects  of  either  party, 
nor  any  letters  of  mart,  contramart,  or  the  like  granted. 

26.  By  this  peace  all  the  people  of  Arras,  of  whatever 
condition,  that  have  absented  themselves  since  the  surprise 
of  that  city,  wherever  they  are,  are  free  to  return  and  traf- 
fic there,  notwithstanding  any  promises  or  otherwise  to  the 
contrary.  And  whether  they  do  return  or  not,  they  shall,  as 
much  as  any  of  the  other  subjects,  enjoy  their  estates,  rights, 
benefices,  moveables,  and  utensils  yet  in  being,  without  any 
molestation  whatsoever. 

27.  In  like  manner  the  people  of  St.  Omer,  of  what  call- 
ing or  quality  soever,  who  resided  therein  while  it  was 
neutral,  and  afterwards  by  reason  of  the  taking  and  re- 
taking of  it,  absented  themselves  from  it,  shall,  notwith- 
standing any  interdiction  or  sentence  against  them,  return, 
and  enjoy  their  estates,  benefices,  &c,  without  any  manner 


1493.]  SREA.TY   OF    8KNI.IS  117 

of  molestation  ;  and  all  offences  and  injuries  shall  be  entirely 
remitted. 

28.  The  Lady  Margaret,  widow  of  Charles,  late  Duke  of 
Burgundy,  is  comprehended  in  this  treaty.  The  king  con. 
sents  that  she  shall  enjoy  the  lands  and  signories  of  Chauch- 
nis  and  la  Perriere,  with  all  their  appurtenances  in  the 
viscounty  of  Auxonne,  in  the  same  manner  as  the  late 
Duchess  Isabella,  the  mother  of  Duke  Charles,  enjoyed  them, 
upon  the  payment  of  twenty  thousand  crowns  in  gold. 

29.  The  most  Christian  king  names  for  his  allies,  his 
imperial  majesty,  the  kings  of  Castile,  England,  Scotland, 
Hungary.  Bohemia,  and  Navarre,  the  Duke  of  Bavaria,  the 
Count  Palatine,  and  all  the  dukes  and  branches  of  the  house 
of  Bavaria,  the  electors  of  the  Holy  Empire,  the  duke  and 
house  of  Savoy,  the  duke  and  house  of  Milan,  the  doge  and 
republic  of  Venice,  the  Duke  of  Lorraine,  the  Duke  of 
Guelderland,  the  marquis  and  house  of  Montferrat,  the 
bishop  and  city  of  Liege,  the  Swiss  Cantons,  the  common- 
wealths of  Florence  and  Genoa.  And,  on  the  part  of  the 
said  King  of  the  Romans  and  archduke,  his  most  sacred 
imperial  majesty,  the  kings  of  Castile,  Hungary,  Portugal, 
Denmark,  England,  and  Scotland,  the  electors  of  the  Holy 
Roman  Empire,  as  the  king  of  Bohemia,  and  others,  the 
marquis  and  house  of  Montferrat,  the  bishop  and  city  of 
Liege,  and  all  the  princes  of  the  empire,  the  Swiss  Cantons, 
cities  and  communities  of  the  empire  are  comprehended. 

30.  In  this  peace  are  also  compreheded  the  king's  coun- 
sellor William  de  Ilaraucourt,  bishop  and  count  of  Verdun, 
as  well  in  his  own  person  as  for  his  bishopric  and  county 
of  Verdun,  lordships,  subjects,  &c.  So  are  also,  by  the 
consent  of  the  said  princes,  the  archbishop,  and  all  the  in- 
habitants of  Briancon. 

31.  The  respective  parties  oblige  themselves,  in  the  most 
6olemn  manner  to  the  observance  of  this  treaty  ;  so  they  do 
also  their  subjects,  vassals,  &c. 

32.  Any  contravention  which  may  happen  of  this  treaty 
on  either  side,  shall  be  repaired  at  farthest  in  the  space  of 
six  weeks. 

33.  For  the  greater  confirmation  of  this  peace,  the  King 
of  Fiance  will  procure  for  the  King  of  the  Romans  and  the 
archduke,  the  instruments  and  seals  of  the  dukes  of  Orleans, 

I  3 


118  THE    MKMOIRS    OY    PHILIP   DE    COMMINES.  [1493. 

Bourbon,  Nemours  ;  the  counts  of  Angouleme,  Montpensier, 
and  Vendome  ;  of  the  Prince  of  Orange  ;  of  the  marshals  and 
admirals  of  France  :  and  of  the  cities,  towns,  and  communi- 
ties, of  Paris,  Rouen,  Lyons,  Poitiers,  Tours,  Angers,  Or- 
leans, Amiens,  and  Tournay.  And  the  King  of  the  Romans 
and  archduke  engage  to  procure  those  of  the  Duke  of  Saxony, 
Margrave  of  Baden,  the  Lord  of  Ravestein,  Counts  Nassau 
and  Zollern,  the  Prince  of  Chimay,  and  the  Lords  de  Bevres, 
Egmont,  Fiennes,  Chievres,  Walhain,  Molembais,  du  Fay, 
Fresnoy,  the  great  bailiff  of  Hainault,  and  the  towns  and  com- 
munities of  Louvain,  Brussels,  Antwerp,  Boisleduc,  Ghent, 
Bruges,  Lisle,  Douay,  Arras,  St.  Omer,  Mons,  Valenciennes, 
Dort,  Middleburg,  and  Namur.  And  if  any  shall  contra- 
vene this  treaty,  without  making  reparation  in  six  weeks, 
these  guarantees  shall  be  obliged  to  leave  the  contravener, 
and  give  assistance  to  the  injured  party,  and  be  discharged 
of  their  oaths. 

34.  The  instruments  on  both  sides  shall  be  registered  and 
verified  in  the  most  regular  and  authentic  manner. 

35.  The  conservators  of  this  peace  for  the  marches  on  the 
side  of  the  country  of  Burgundy,  on  the  king's  part,  are,  the 
Prince  of  Orange,  M.  de  Baudricourt,  governor  of  Burgundy, 
and  the  bailiffs  of  Dijon,  Chalons,  Autun,  and  Macon,  or 
their  lieutenants.  For  the  marches  of  Champagne  and 
Rhetelois,  M.  de  Orvat,  governor  of  Champagne,  the  bailiffs 
of  St.  Peter  le  Moustier,  Troyes,  and  Vitry,  or  their  lieu- 
tenants; and  for  the  marches  of  Picardy,  the  Marshal  des 
Querdes,  the  bailiffs  of  Amiens  and  Yermandois,  the  sene- 
schals of  Ponthieu  and  Boulonnois,  and  the  governors  of 
Montdidier  and  Roye,  or  their  lieutenants  ;  and  for  the  sea, 
the  admiral,  &c.  The  conservators  on  the  King  of  the 
Romans  and  the  archduke's  part,  for  the  marches  of  Flan- 
ders and  Artois,  are,  M.  de  Nassau,  with  the  governors  of 
Lisle,  Arras,  and  the  bailiffs  of  the  said  countries  respec- 
tively ;  for  the  marches  of  Hainault,  the  princes  of  Chimay, 
and  the  grand  bailiff  of  Hainault ;  for  Luxemburg,  the  Mar- 
grave of  Baden  ;  for  Burgundy,  the  governor  of  the  county 
of  Burgundy,  and  the  bailiffs  of  Damont,  Daval,  and  Dole; 
and  for  the  sea,  Monsieur  de  Braves,  admiral,  &c. 

36.  No  manner  of  protection  or  shelter  shall  be  given  to 
vagrants,  thieves,  and  robbers,  on  either  side  ;   but  they 


1493.]  EMBASST    TO    THE    VENETIANS.  1)9 

shall  be  banished,  or  otherwise  brought  to  condign  punish- 
ment, wherever  they  are  found. 

37.  The  same  thing  is  to  be  done  in  respect  to  rovers,  or 
pirates  by  sea. 

38.  Neither  party  shall  receive  or  support  those  who  shall 
in  any  way  contravene  this  peace  ;  but  they  shall  be  punished 
for  the  infractions  they  make ;  but  the  peace  at  the  same 
time  shall  not  be  held  to  be  violated. 

39.  The  said  princes  and  their  officers  shall  assist  one 
another  against  all  those  who  shall  delay  or  refuse  to  keep 
this  peace  ;  and  they  shall  on  both  sides  be  taken  for  com- 
mon enemies  ;  and  those  who  shall  in  any  way  assist  or 
favour  them,  shall  in  like  manner  be  answerable  for  the 
mischiefs  done  by  them,  and  be  punished  as  violators  of  the 
peace. 


Ch.  V.  —  Mow  the  King  sent  to  the  Venetians,  in  order  to  induce  them 
to  enter  into  an  Alliance  with  him,  before  undertaking  his  Expedition 
to  Naples  ;  and  of  the  Preparations  in  order  to  it.  —  1493. 

To  return  to  our  principal  matter  :  you  have  already  been 
informed  how  the  Count  di  Cajazzo,  and  the  other  ambassa- 
dors, took  their  leave  of  the  king  at  Paris  ;  how  several  se- 
cret negotiations  were  carried  on  in  Italy  ;  and  how  the  heart 
of  our  king  (though  he  was  very  young)  was  strangely  bent 
upon  this  expedition ;  which,  however,  he  discovered  to 
none  but  the  two  persons  *  above-mentioned.  His  request 
to  the  Venetians  was  that  they  would  give  him  their  assist- 
ance and  counsel  in  his  expedition  ;  and  they  returned  this 
answer:  That  he  should  be  very  welcome  in  Italy,  but  that 
they  were  wholly  incapable  of  assisting  him,  upon  account 
of  their  continual  apprehensions  of  the  Turk  f  (though  at 
that  time  they  were  at  peace  with  him)  ;  and  to  undertake 
to  advise  so  wise  a  king,  who  had  so  grave  a  council,  would 

*  Stephen  de  Vesc  and  Briconnet. 
f  The  Emperor  Bajazet  IL 

14 


120  THE   MEMOIRS   OF   PHILIP   DE   COMMINES.  f  J493. 

savour  of  too  much   presumption  on  their  part ;    but  they 
would  rather  assist  than  disturb  him  in  his  designs. 

This  they  believed  a  very  discreet  answer,  and  truly  so  it 
was ;  and  I  am  of  opinion  that  their  affairs  are  managed 
with  more  prudence  and  discretion  at  this  day,  than  the 
affairs  of  any  other  princes  or  states  in  the  world  :  but  God 
will  still  have  us  know,  that  the  wisdom  and  policy  of  man 
is  of  no  avail  where  He  pleases  to  interpose  ;  for  He  orders 
things  many  times  quite  otherwise  than  were  expected.  The 
Venetians  did  not  imagine  that  the  king  would  come  in 
person,  and  (whatever  they  pretended)  they  had  no  appre- 
hension of  the  Turk ;  for  the  Turk  who  then  reigned  was 
a  man  of  no  courage  nor  activity.  But  their  design  was 
to  be  revenged  upon  the  House  of  Arragon,  both  father  and 
son,  for  whom  they  had  a  mortal  hatred,  because  (as  they 
said)  it  was  at  their  instigation  that  the  Turk  fell  upon  them 
at  Scutari.*  I  mean  the  father  of  this  present  Turk,  called 
Mahomet  Ottoman,  who  conquered  Constantinople,  and  did 
abundance  of  mischief  besides  to  the  Venetians.  They  had 
several  complaints  also  against  Alphonso,  Duke  of  Calabria, 
and,  among  the  rest,  they  said  that  he  had  been  the  occasion 
of  the  war  which  the  Duke  of  Ferrarahad  made  upon  them, 
which  was  very  expensive,  and  had  like  to  have  proved  their 
ruin.  They  complained  also  that  he  had  sent  a  man  to 
Venice,  expressly  to  poison  their  cisterns,  at  least  such  as  he 
could  come  at ;  for  some  are  kept  under  lock  and  key.  In 
that  city  they  use  no  other  water  (for  they  are  wholly  sur- 
rounded by  the  sea)  ;  but  that  water  is  very  good,  and  I 
drank  of  it  eight  months  together,  in  my  first  embassy 
thither  (for  I  have  been  there  once  since).  But  these  were 
not  the   true   reasons  of  their  animosity  to  the  House  of 

*  The  treaty  of  peace  concluded  in  1478  between  the  Sublime  Porte, 
Ferdinand  of  Arragon,  and  the  King  of  Hungary,  enabled  Mahomet  II. 
to  concentrate  all  his  forces  against  the  Venetians.  The  republic  in 
▼ain  attempted  to  enter  into  ncgociations.  Mahomet,  certain  of  the 
success  of  his  arms,  refused  to  treat  unless  Scutari  were  surrendered  to 
him,  and,  without  waiting  for  any  answer  to  this  proposition,  marched 
into  Albania.  On  the  8th  of  June,  1478,  he  laid  siege  to  Scutari  ;  and 
on  the  26th  of  January,  1479,  the  town  and  its  territory  were  ceded  ta 
him  by  the  Venetians.  This  Scutari  must  not  be  confounded  with  tht 
suburb  of  Constantinople,  which  bears  the  same  name  :  it  is  a  large 
town,  the  capital  of  a  pashalic  in  Northern  Albania, 


1493.]  TIIE   KING   ADVANCES   TO   LYONS.  121 

Arragon  ;  the  real  occasion  was,  because  the  father  and  son 
restrained  them,  and  kept  them  from  extending  their  con- 
quests both  in  Italy  and  Greece  ;  for  their  eyes  were  upon 
them  on  every  side,  and  yet,  without  any  title  or  pretence, 
they  had  lately  subdued  the  kingdom  of  Cyprus.*  Upon  these 
considerations  the  Venetians  thought  it  would  be  highly  for 
their  advantage  if  a  war  should  be  begun  between  our  king 
and  the  House  of  Arragon  ;  hoping  it  would  not  be  brought 
to  a  conclusion  so  soon  as  it  was,  and  that  it  would  only 
weaken  the  power  of  their  enemies  and  not  utterly  destroy 
them :  and  then  (let  what  would  happen)  one  side  or  the 
other  would  give  them  towns  in  Apulia  (which  borders 
upon  their  gulf)  in  order  to  have  their  assistance:  and  so  it 
happened  f,  but  they  had  like  to  have  been  mistaken  in  their 
reckoning.  Besides,  they  thought  to  have  transacted  affairs 
so  secretly,  that  nobody  could  have  accused  tin  m  of  inviting 
our  king  into  Italy,  since  they  had  neither  given  him  counsel 
nor  assistance,  as  appeared  to  the  world  by  their  answer  to 
Peron  de  Basche. 

In  the  year  1493,  the  king  advanced  to  Lyons,  to  ex- 
amine into  his  affairs  ;  but  nobody  ever  imagined  he  would 
have   passed  the  mountains  himself.     He  was  met  there  by 

*  The  title  of  the  Venetians  to  the  kingdom  of  Cyprus  rested  on  the 
following  grounds.  Catharine  Cornaro.  the  sister  of  Marco  Cornaro,  a 
Venetian  gentleman,  had  married  Jacopo  de  Lusignan,  King  of  Cyprus, 
on  condition  that  the  republic  of  Venice  should  adopt  her  as  a  daughter. 
Two  years  after  his  marriage,  on  the  6th  of  June,  1473,  the  King  of 
Cyprus  died,  leaving  his  widow  pregnant  of  a  son,  who  died  in  infancy. 
The  Venetians  ih-is  became  guardians  of  the  kingdom,  and  soon  ren- 
dered themselves  odious  to  the  Cypriotes,  who  made  several  attempts  to 
shake  off  their  yoke,  but  in  vain.  In  consequence  of  these  revolts  and 
of  a  report  that  the  queen  was  about  to  contract  a  new  marriage,  the 
Venetians  resolved  to  take  full  possession  of  Cyprus  :  they  accordingly 
dctlared  that,  by  the  decease  of  the  heir  to  the  crown,  the  queen  had 
inherited  the  rights  of  her  son,  and  that  the  republic  in  its  turn  would 
succeed  to  the  rights  of  the  queen,  as  she  was  a  daughter  of  St.  Mark. 
This  decision  was  conveyed  to  Catherine,  with  orders  that  she  should 
come  at  once  to  Venice,  ami  deliver  up  the  reins  of  government  into 
the  hands  of  the  Venetians.  She  obeyed  ;  and  on  the  26th  of  February, 
1489,  the  standard  of  St.  Mark  floated  over  the  palace  of  Fanutgosta 
and  all  the  fortresses  of  the  island.  —  Sismondi,  x.  398. 

f  In  return  for  certain  assistance  which  they  promised  him,  Fer- 
dinand II.  made  over  the  towns  of  Otranto,  Brindisi,  Trani,  Mouopoli, 
and  Fuglinano  to  the  Venetians.  —  Sismonui,  xii.  386. 


122  THE    MEMOIRS   OF    THILIP    DE    COMMINF.S.  [1493. 

the  Lord  Galeas  di  St.  Severino,  brother  to  the  Count  di 
Cajazzo,  with  a  numerous  retinue,  on  the  part  of  the  Lord 
Ludovic,  whose  lieutenant  and  chief  minister  he  was.  He 
brought  with  him  arms,  and  abundance  of  fine  horses  trained 
on  purpose  for  tournaments.  He  tilted  very  well  himself, 
for  lie  was  young  and  a  fine  gentleman  ;  and  the  king  enter- 
tained him  with  great  honour  and  good  cheer,  and  made 
him  a  knight  of  his  own  order;  after  which  he  returned  into 
Italy,  but  the  Count  de  Bellejoyeuse  still  stayed  with  the  king 
to  promote  his  expedition.  By  this  time  a  great  army  was 
preparing  at  Genoa,  where  the  Lord  d'Urfe,  master  of  the 
horse,  and  several  others,  were  negotiating  tiie  king's  affairs. 
At  length,  ahout  the  beginning  of  August,  in  that  year,  the 
king  removed  to  Vienne  in  Dauphiny,  and  the  nobility  of 
Genoa  resorted  to  him  daily.  The  king  also  sent  to  Genoa 
at  that  time  Louis,  Duke  of  Orleans,  now  King  of  France, 
a  young  prince,  and  very  handsome,  but  much  addicted  to  his 
pleasures :  of  him  enough  has  been  said  in  these  Memoirs. 
It  was  the  opinion  of  everybody  at  that  time,  that  he  was 
to  conduct  the  army  by  sea  ;  and  that  it  was  to  be  embarked 
and  landed  in  the  kingdom  of  Naples,  by  the  assistance  and 
direction  of  the  banished  princes  of  Salerno  and  Bisignano, 
whom  we  have  mentioned  before.  They  had  gotten  fourteen 
great  ships,  besides  several  galleys  and  galleons,  ready  at 
Genoa  ;  and  the  king  was  as  much  obeyed  in  those  parts  as 
at  Paris,  for  the  city  belonged  to  the  state  of  Milan,  where 
the  Lord  Ludovic  governed,  without  any  competitor  but  the 
duke  his  nephew's  wife,  daughter  to  King  Alphonso  (for  at 
that  time  his  lather  King  Ferrand  was  dead).  But  the  poor 
lady  had  no  great  power,  since  the  king's  army  was  ready 
to  march,  and  her  husband  was  a  weak  prince,  and  discovered 
whatever  she  said  to  his  uncle,  who  had  already  caused  a 
messenger  to  be  drowned  whom  she  had  sent  to  her  father. 

The  equipping  of  this  fleet  was  very  expensive,  and  I  be- 
lieve cost  no  less  than  three  hundred  thousand  francs,  which 
quite  exhausted  the  king's  treasury;  and  yet  it  did  him  no 
great  service  after  all,  for,  as  I  observed  before,  neither  his 
exchequer,  his  understanding,  nor  his  preparations  were 
sufficient  for  such  an  important  enterprise,  and  yet  he  suc- 
ceeded in  it  by  the  mere  favour  of  Providence,  as  was 
visibly  manifest  to  all  the  world.     I  do  not  saj  that  the 


1493.]  AFFAIRS  OF  NAPLES.  123 

king  wanted  wisdom,  considering  his  age;  but  he  was  but 
two-and-twenty  years  old*,  and  not  as  yet  capable  of  under- 
standing state  affairs.  Those  who  were  the  chief  managers 
of  this  affair  (I  mean  Stephen  de  Vers,  seneschal  of  Beau- 
caire,  and  Monsieur  Brissonet,  at  present  cardinal  of  St. 
Malo)  were  two  persons  of  indifferent  fortune,  and  less  ex- 
perience, which  made  the  power  of  God  more  conspicuous, 
for  our  enemies  were  reputed  wise,  warlike,  and  rich,  well 
furnished  with  good  counsellors  and  officers,  and  in  posses- 
sion of  the  whole  kingdom;  I  speak  of  Alphonso  of  Arra- 
gon  (newly  crowned  by  Pope  Alexanderf),  who  was  sup- 
ported by  both  the  Florentines  and  the  Turks.  King 
Alphonso  had  a  son  called  Don  Ferrand,  a  hopeful  gentleman 
of  about  two  or  three-and-twenty  years  old,  who  wore  his 
harness  very  well,  and  was  extremely  beloved  in  that  king- 
dom ;  and  a  brother  called  Don  Frederic  (who  was  king 
after  the  death  of  Ferrand),  a  wise  prince,  and  admiral  of 
their  fleet,  who  was  educated  a  long  time  in  our  country, 
and  whom  you,  my  Lord  of  Vienne,  have  often  (by  your 
skill  in  astrology)  assured  me  would  be  king  ;  and  he  pro- 
mised me  (upon  my  telling  him  of  it)  a  pension  of  four 
thousand  livres,  if  it  proved  true,  as  it  did  twenty  years 
afterwards. 

But  to  proceed.  The  king  changed  his  resolution,  being 
prevailed  upon  by  the  Duke  of  Milan's  letters,  and  by  the 
importunity  of  Charles  de  Bellejoyeuse,  his  ambassador,  and 
of  the  two  ministers  above-mentioned ;  but  by  degrees 
Brissonet's  courage  began  to  fail  him,  finding  that  all  sober 
and  rational  persons  condemned  the  expedition,  as  it  was  to 
begin  in  August,  without  money,  tents,  and  everything  else 
that  was  necessary  to  carry  it  on  ;  so  that  the  seneschal  was 
the  only  man  that  was  consulted  ;  for  the  king  looked  coldly 
upon  Monsieur  Brissonet  for  three  or  four  days,  but  was  re- 
conciled to  him  afterwards.  About  this  time  one  of  the 
seneschal's  servants  died,  it  was  said,  of  the  plague,  and  he 

*  He  was  twenty-four  years  old  at  this  time.  —  See  note,  p.  94. 

t  Kodcric  Borgia,  a  native  of  Valencia  in  Spain,  was  elected  Pope 
nnder  the  title  of  Alexander  VI.,  on  the  11th  of  August,  1492,  and  died 
on  the  18th  of  August,  1502.  He  was  a  monster  of  profligacy  and 
wickedness,  and  has  been  well  called  by  Roscoe  "the  scourge  of  Chris- 
tendom, and  the  opprobrium  of  the  human  race." 


124  TIIE    MEMOIRS   OP   PHILIP   DE   COMMINES.  [1494 

durst  not  appear  at  court ;  which  was  a  great  mortification 
To  him,  for  there  was  nohody  else  to  carry  on  the  design. 
The  Duke  and  Duchess  of  Bourbon  were  with  the  king,  and 
used  all  their  interest  to  hinder  this  expedition,  and  Mon- 
sieur Brissonet  did  the  same ;  so  that  one  day  it  was  laid 
aside,  and  the  next  revived.  At  last  the  king  resolved  to 
march,  and,  thinking  to  pass  the  mountains  more  commodi- 
ously  in  sirall  bodies,  I  mounted  on  horseback,  and  advanced 
before;  but  I  was  countermanded,  and  assured  that  the  de- 
sign was  given  over.  The  same  day  fifty  thousand  ducats 
were  borrowed  of  a  merchant  of  Milan,  but  the  Lord  Lu- 
dovic  was  the  real  lender.  I  was  surety  for  six  thousand 
ducats,  and  others  for  the  rest ;  but  it  was  borrowed  with- 
out interest.  Before  that,  we  had  borrowed  of  the  bank  of 
Soly,  in  Genoa,  a  hundred  thousand  francs,  the  interest  of 
which  in  four  months  amounted  to  fourteen  thousand  francs*, 
but  some  people  said  the  persons  above  mentioned  kept  part 
of  the  money  for  their  own  private  use. 


Ch.  VI. — How  King  Charles  set  out  from  Vierme,  in  Dauphiny,  to  con- 
quer Naples  in  Person;  and  the  Action  that  was  performed  by  his 
Fleet,  under  the  Command  of  the  Duke  of  Orleans. — 1494. 

In  short,  the  King,  on  the  23rd  of  August,  1494,  set  out 
from  Vienne,  and  marched  straight  towards  Asti.*  At  Suza 
the  Lord  Galeas  di  St.  Severino  came  post  to  meet  his 
majesty,  who  advanced  from  thence  to  Turint,  where  he 
borrowed  the  jewels  of  Madame  de  Savoy  J,  daughter  tc 
the  late  William,  Marquis  of  Montferrat  §,  and  widow  to 

*  Asti,  a  city  of  Piedmont,  about  twenty-six  miles  east  of  Turin. 
Charles  VIII.  arrived  there  on  Tuesday,  the  9th  of  September,  1494. 
Susa  is  also  a  Piedmontese  town,  at  the  junction  of  the  two  routes  across 
the  Alps  by  Mont  Cenis  and  Geneva. 

t  The  king  reached  Turin  on  the  5th  of  September. 

j  Bianca  de  Montferrat  married  Charles  I.  Duke  of  Savoy,  in  1485; 
became  a  widow  on  the  13th  of  March,  1489;  and  died  on  the  31st  of 
March,  1509. 

§  William  "VI.,  Marquis  of  Montferrat,  succeeded  his  brother,  John 
IV.,  in  1464,  and  died  on  the  28th  of  February,  1483. 


1494.]  TIIE   KING   REMAINS   AT   ASTI.  125 

Charles  Duke  of  Savoy.  Having  pawned  them  for  twelve 
thousand  ducats,  he  removed  a  few  days  after  to  Casale  *, 
the  residence  of  the  Marchioness  of  Montferrat  f,  widow  of  the 
late  Marquis  of  Montferrat,  a  young  and  prudent  lady,  and 
daughter  to  the  King  of  Servia.  The  Turk  having  overrun 
her  country,  the  emperor  (in  respect  of  the  relation  betwixt 
them)  took  care  of  her,  and  married  her  there.  She  also 
lent  the  king  her  jewels,  and  they  also  were  pawned  for 
twelve  thousand  ducats  ;  by  which  you  may  see  what  an 
unprosperous  beginning  there  was  of  this  war,  had  not  God 
himself  directed  the  enterprise. 

The  king  continued  at  Asti  for  some  time.  The  wines 
in  Italy  were  sour  this  year,  and  therefore  not  at  all  agree- 
able to  the  French,  any  more  than  the  excessive  heat  of  the 
atmosphere.  The  Lord  Ludovic  and  his  wife  came  with  a 
numerous  retinue  to  wait  on  his  majesty ;  they  staid  there 
two  days,  and  then  removed  to  a  castle  called  Annone,  about 
a  league  from  Asti,  belonging  to  the  duchy  of  Milan,  to  which 
place  the  king's  council  resorted  to  him  daily. 

King  Alphonso  had  two  armies  in  the  field,  one  in  Ro- 
magna,  towards  Ferrara,  under  the  command  of  his  son  ;  who 
was  attended  by  the  Lord  Virgil  Ursini  J,  the  Count  de  Pit- 
telhane  §,  and  the  Lord  John  James  di  Trivulce||,  who  at 
this  time  is  in  our  interest.  To  face  this  body  of  forces, 
there  was  the  Lord  d'Aubigny^f  on  the  king's  side,  a  wise 
man  and  a  brave  officer,  and  with  him  at  least  two  hundred 
French  men-at-arms,  and  five  hundred  Italians  in  the  king's 

*  Casale,  a  city  of  Piedmont,  on  the  right  bank  of  the  Po,  thirty- 
eight  miles  cast  of  Turin. 

f  Mary,  daughter  of  Stephen,  despot  of  Servia,  married  Boniface  IV., 
Marquis  of  Montferrat,  on  the  17th  of  October,  1485;  became  a  widow 
in  1493;  and  died  in  1495. — See  infra,  Book  VIII.  Chap.  xvi. 

t  Virgilio  Orsini,  Count  of  Tagliacozzo,  Lord  of  Bracciano,  and  con- 
stable of  the  kingdom  of  Naples. 

§  Niccolo  Orsini,  Count  of  Nola  and  Pitijrliano. 

||  Gian  Giacopo  Trivulzio,  surnamed  the  Great,  Marqnis  of  Vigevano 
and  Duke  of  Musocci.  He  was  afterwards  created  a  marshal  of 
France. 

%  Bcraut  Stuart,  Lord  of  Aubigny,  and  a  Knight  of  the  Order  of  St. 
Michael,  was  one  of  the  numerous  gentlemen  of  Scottish  descent  then 
in  the  service  of  the  King  ot  France.  Charles  VIIL  subsequently 
created  him  Count  of  Arei,  Marquis  of  Squilazzo,  and  constable  of  the 
kiugdoui  of  Naples.     He  died  in  1504. 


126  THE    MEMOIRS    OF    PHILIP    DE    COMMINES.  [1194. 

service,  commanded  by  the  Count  di  Cajazzo  above-men- 
tioned, as  an  officer  under  the  Lord  Ludovic :  he  was  in 
great  alarm  for  this  brigade,  for  if  it  had  been  defeated,  we 
should  have  retired,  and  have  left  him  to  shift  for  himself; 
and  the  enemy  had  a  strong   party  in  the  duchy  of  Milan. 

The  other  army,  which  was  commanded  by  Don  Fre- 
derick, King  Alphonso's  brother,  was  at  sea,  and  the  fleet 
that  had  this  body  of  forces  on  board  lay  off  Pisa  and  Leg- 
horn (for  the  Florentines  espoused  their  interest),  and  with 
it  a  certain  number  of  galleys,  commanded  by  Breto  di 
Flisco  *,  and  other  officers  of  Genoa,  by  whose  assistance 
they  were  in  hopes  of  making  themselves  masters  of  that 
city ;  and  they  missed  it  but  narrowly.  They  landed  some 
thousand  men  at  Specie  and  Rapalo  t,  and  had  they  not  met 
with  a  timely  opposition,  it  is  probable  they  would  have  car- 
ried their  point ;  but  that  very  day,  or  the  next,  the  Duke  of 
Orleans  arrived  there  with  some  ships,  a  good  number  of 
galleys,  and  one  great  galeass,  which  was  mine,  and  com- 
manded by  Albert  Mely.  The  duke  and  chief  persons  of 
the  army  were  on  board  my  galeass,  with  several  great  pieces 
of  cannon  (for  she  was  very  strong) ;  and  getting  as  near 
the  shore  as  possible,  they  cannonaded  the  enemy  so  briskly 
with  their  great  guns  (which  till  that  time  were  unknown 
in  Italy),  that  they  beat  them  from  their  post,  and  landed 
what  soldiers  they  had  in  their  ships.  And  from  Genoa, 
where  the  whole  army  lay,  there  came  by  land  a  considerable 
body  of  Swiss,  commanded  by  the  bailiff  of  Dijon.  J  There 
were  other  reinforcements  also  sent  from  the  Duke  of  Milan, 
under  the  command  of  Lord  John  Lewis  di  Flisco  §,  brother 
to  the  above-mentioned  Breto,  and  the  Lord  John  Adorni  || ; 
but  these  were  not  in  the  engagement,  yet  they  did  their 
duty,  and  held  several  passes  with  great  courage  and  reso- 
lution.    In  short,  when  joined  by  these  reinforcements,  our 

*  Obietto  de  Fieschi,  who  died  at  Verceil  on  the  25th  of  August, 
1497. — Federici,  78. 

f  La  Spezzia,  a  maritime  town  in  the  Sardinian  dominions,  at  the 
head  of  the  Bay  of  Spezzia,  in  the  Gulf  of  Genoa.  Rapallo,  another 
Sardinian  seaport,  fifteen  miles  east  of  Genoa. 

J  An:oine  de  Bessey,  Baron  of  Trichastel,  and  Bailiff  of  Dijon. 

§  Giovanni  Ludovico  de  Fieschi,  brother  of  Obietto 

(|  Giovanni  Adorni.  brother  of  Agostino,  at  that  time  Governor  of 
fceuoa. — GmcaARM.Ni,  u  164. 


1494.]  AMBASSADORS   OF    THE    FLORENTINES.  127 

army  attacked  and  utterly  defeated  the  enemy,  of  whom 
about  a  hundred  or  six-score  were  killed  in  the  pursuit, 
and  about  eight  or  ten  taken  prisoners ;  among  whom  there 
was  one  Signor  Forgosa*,  son  to  the  Cardinal  of  Genoa. f 
Those  who  were  taken  were  stripped  to  their  shirts  by  the 
Duke  of  Milan's  soldiers,  and  dismissed  without  other  in- 
jury !  for  in  Italy  that  is  the  law  of  arms.  I  had  a  sight  of 
all  the  letters  which  brought  an  account  of  this  victory  to  the 
king  and  the  Duke  of  Milan  ;  and  after  this  manner  was  the 
army  defeated,  and  never  after  durst  approach  us.  Upon 
our  return  to  Genoa  the  citizens  began  to  rise  in  arms,  and 
slew  /several  Germans,  that  were  in  the  city;  but  the  tu- 
mult was  soon  appeased,  after  some  of  the  ring-leaders  of  the 
insurrection  were  killed. 

Something  must  now  be  said  of  the  Florentines,  who  sent 
two  embassies  to  the  king  of  France  before  his  setting  out 
upon  this  expedition  ;  but  their  design  was  only  to  dissemble 
with  him.  The  first  time  the  seneschal  of  Beaucaire,  Mon- 
sieur Brissonet,  and  myself  were  deputed  to  treat  with  their 
ambassadors,  who  were  the  Bishop  of  ArezzoJ,  and  one 
Peter  Soderini.  §  Our  demands  were  only  that  they  should 
grant  us  passage  for  our  troops,  and  a  hundred  men-at-arms, 
to  be  paid  by  them  after  the  Italian  rate  (which  is  but  ten 
thousand  ducats  a  year).  The  ambassadors  replied  ac- 
cording to  the  instructions  that  were  given  them  by  Peter 
de  Medicis,  a  young  man  of  no  extraordinary  parts,  son  of 
Laurence  de  Medicis,  lately  deceased,  who  had  been  one  of 
the  wisest  men  of  his  time,  governed  the  city  almost  as  a 
prince,  and  left  it  in  the  same  condition  to  his  son.  Their 
family  had  been  of  about  two  generations,  Peter,  the  father 
of  this  Laurence,  and  Cosmo  who  founded  it,  and  was  worthy 
to  be  reckoned  among  the  chief  of  that  age :  indeed,  consi- 

•  Giovanni  Fregosi,  natural  son  of  Cardinal  Paolo  Fregosi. 

f  l'aolo  Fregosi,  Archbishop  of  Genoa,  tilled  the  office  of  doge  of 
that  city  several  times  between  the  years  1462  and  1488;  he  was  created 
a  cardinal  by  Pope  Sixtus  IV.  in  1480,  and  died  on  the  2nd  of  March, 
1498. 

X  Gentile  Becchi,  the  tutor  of  the  sons  of  Cosmo  de  Medici,  waa 
appointed  Bishop  of  Arezzo  on  the  21st  of  October,  1473  and  died  in 
1497. 

§  Piero  Soderini  was  appointed  Gonfalonier  of  Florence  in  1502,  ami 
died  on  the  13th  of  June,  1522. 


128  TIIE   MEMOIRS   OF    PHILIP   DE    COMMINES.  [1494 

dering  their  profession  (which  was  merchandising),  I  think 
this  family  was  the  greatest  in  the  world  ;  for  their  factors 
and  agents  had  so  mucli  reputation  upon  their  account,  that 
it  is  scarce  credible.  I  have  seen  the  etfect  of  it  in  England 
and  Flanders:  I  saw  one  Gerard  Quanvese,  who  kept  King 
Edward  IV.  upon  his  throne,  almost  upon  his  own  credit, 
during  the  time  of  the  civil  wars  in  that  kingdom  ;  for  he 
furnished  the  king  at  different  times  with  more  than  six- 
score  thousand  crowns,  but  not  at  all  to  his  master's  ad- 
vantage, though  at  length  he  got  his  money  back  again.  I 
knew  also  another,  named  Thomas  Portunay*,  who  was 
security  between  King  Edward  and  Charles  Duke  of  Bur- 
gundy, for  fifty  thousand  crowns,  and  at  another  time  for 
eighty  thousand.  I  cannot  commend  merchants  for  doing 
so ;  but  it  is  highly  commendable  in  a  prince  to  be  punc- 
tual with  them,  and  keep  his  promise  exactly ;  for  he  knows 
not  how  soon  he  may  want  their  assistance,  and  certainly 
a  little  money  at  a  critical  juncture  of  affairs  does  great 
service. 

This  family  of  Medicis  was  thought  to  be  in  a  declining 
condition  (as  is  the  case  with  all  kingdoms  and  govern- 
ments), for  the  authority  of  his  predecessors  was  a  great 
prejudice  to  Peter;  though  indeed  Cosmo,  the  first  of  the 
family,  was  mild  and  gentle  in  his  administration,  and  be- 
haved himself  as  he  ought  to  do  in  a  free  city.  Laurence, 
the  father  of  Peter  (of  whom  we  are  now  speaking),  upon 
occasion  of  the  difference  betwixt  him  and  the  Pisansf,  men- 
tioned in  a  former  part  of  this  book  (in  which  several  of 
them  were  hanged),  had  a  guard  of  twenty  soldiers  assigned 
him,  for  the  security  of  his  person,  by  an  order  from  the 
Signory,  which  at  that  time  did  nothing  without  his  di- 
rection and  approbation.  However,  he  governed  very  mo- 
derately ;  for  (as  I  said  before)  he  was  a  wise  man ;  but 
his  son  Peter  thought  it  his  due,  and  employed  his  guards 
to  the  terror  and  vexation  of  his  people,  committing  great 
injuries  and  insolencies  by  them  in  the  night,  and  invading 

*  Thomas  Portinari  was  agent  to  Lorenzo  de  Medici  at  Bruges,  where 
he  kept  a  bank. — Sismondi,  xi.  80.  He  is  often  mentioned  in  Bymer 
as  having  money  transactions  with  Edward  IV. 

f  See  Book  VI.  Chap.  iv.  The  allusion  here  is  manifestly  to  tbo 
Conspiracy  of  the  Pazzi. 


1494.]  AFFAIRS   OF   FLORENCE.  129 

the  common  treasure,  which  his  father  indeed  had  done 
before  him  ;  but  he  managed  it  so  prudently,  that  the  people 
were  almost  satisfied  with  his  proceedings. 

The  second  time  Peter  sent,  as  his  ambassadors  to  Lyon, 
Peter  Caponi*  and  others,  excusing  himself,  as  he  had 
done  before,  on  the  ground  that  King  Louis  XL  had  com- 
manded the  Florentines  to  make  a  league  with  King  Ferrand, 
in  the  time  of  John  Duke  of  Anjou,  and  to  forsake  the 
alliance  of  the  said  duke ;  and  alleging  that,  since  it  was  by 
command  of  the  late  Kin":  of  France  that  they  had  entered 
into  alliance  with  the  House  of  Arragon,  and  the  term  of 
the  said  alliance  was  not  to  expire  for  some  years f,  they 
could  not  in  justice  desert  it:  however,  if  his  majesty  en- 
tered their  territories,  they  would  be  of  service  to  him  ;  but 
they  no  more  thought  he  would  come  in  person  than  the 
Venetians  did.  In  both  these  embassies  there  was  always 
somebody  who  was  an  enemy  to  the  Media's,  and  at  this 
time  more  particularly  Peter  Caponi,  who  often  informed  us 
secretly  what  measures  were  to  be  taken  in  order  to  make 
the  city  of  Florence  revolt  from  Peter  de  Medicis,  traducing 
him  more  sharply  than  he  really  deserved:  indeed,  he  ad- 
vised the  king  to  banish  all  Florentines  out  of  our  kingdom, 
which  he  did.  I  mentioned  this  particular,  that  you  may 
more  easily  understand  the  sequel  of  these  Memoirs ;  for 
the  king  had  conceived  a  great  enmity  against  Peter  de 
Medicis ;  and  the  Seneschal  and  Monsieur  Brissonet  held 
great  intelligence  with  his  enemies  in  the  city,  especially 
with  this  Caponi,  and  with  two  of  Peter's  cousins-german, 
who  bore  his  own  name. 


Cn.  VIT. — How  the  King,  being  at  Asti,  resolved  to  go  in  Person  into 
the  Kingdom  of  Naples,  by  the  Persuasion  and  Advice  of  Ludovie 
Sforza:  how  Philip  de  Commines  was  sent  on  an  Embassy  to  Venice: 
and  of  the  Duke  of  Milan's  Death. — 1494. 

I  have  already  given  an  account  of  the  naval  engagement 
off  Rapalo.     Don  Frederic  (upon  this  defeat)  retired  to  Pisa 

*  Pietro  de  Gino  Capponi,  created  Gonfalonier  of  Florence  in  1493.— 
Gami'kimni,  ii.  471. 

■f  The  treaty  was  made  in  March,  1480. — Sissiondi,  xi.  185 
VOL.    U.  K 


130  THE    MEMOIRS   OF   PHILIP   DE   COMMINES.         [H94. 

and  Legliorn,  without  staying  for  the  forces  which  he  had 
put  on  shore  ;  at  which  the  Florentines  were  highly  dis- 
gusted, as  they  were  always  in  their  own  minds  more  inclin- 
able to  favour  the  French  than  the  house  of  Arragon :  and 
our  army  in  Romagna,  though  the  weaker  of  the  two,  yet  had 
better  fortune  than  the  other,  and  forced  the  Duke  of  Cala- 
bria to  give  ground  by  degrees;  which  the  king  observing, 
he  took  a  resolution  to  march  forward,  being  solicited  to  do 
so  by  the  Lord  Ludovic  and  others  whom  I  have  mentioned 
before;  and  at  his  arrival,  Ludovic  saluted  him  after  this 
manner : — 

"  Sir,  do  not  fear  for  the  success  of  this  enterprise  ;  Italy 
consists  but  of  three  powers  that  are  at  all  considerable  : 
Milan,  which  is  one  of  them,  is  yours  already;  the  Venetians 
are  neutral ;  and  you  will  therefore  have  to  deal  only  with 
Naples.  When  we  were  united,  and  joined  together  in  a 
mutual  alliance,  several  of  your  predecessors  have  been  too 
powerful  for  us.  If  you  will  be  ruled  by  me,  I  will  assist  in 
making  you  greater  than  Charlemagne  ;  for,  when  you  have 
conquered  the  kingdom  of  Naples,  we  will  easily  drive  the 
Turk  out  of  the  empire  of  Constantinople."  If  he  meant 
the  Turk  who  now  reigns*,  it  was  likely  enough ;  but  to  in- 
sure success,  affairs  on  our  side  needed  to  have  been  managed 
more  wisely.  Upon  this  the  king  began  to  be  wholly 
governed  by  the  Lord  Ludovic,  which  highly  displeased  some 
of  our  courtiers,  among  whom  there  was  one  of  the  gentle- 
men of  the  bed-chamber,  and  I  know  not  who  besides ;  but 
their  resentment  was  to  no  purpose,  for  the  king  could  not 
do  without  him,  and  what  they  did  was  but  in  complaisance 
to  the  Duke  of  Orleans,  who  pretended  to  the  duchy  of 
Milan. f  But,  above  all,  none  was  so  much  disgusted  as 
Monsieur  Brissonet,  who  now  began  to  look  upon  himself  as 
i  considerable  person,  and  was  become  the  seneschal's  rival 
in  power  ;  and  Ludovic  having  proposed  to  the  king  and  the 
seneschal  to  leave  him  behind,  he  was  highly  incensed  against 
him,  and  endeavoured  to  persuade  all  people  that  he  meant 
to  leave  them  in  the  lurch.     It  had  been  more  wise  in  him 

*  The  Emperor  Bajazet. 

f  As  the  descendant  of  Louis,  Duke  of  Orleans,  who  had  marries 
Valentina,  daughter  of  Gian  Galeazzo,  Duke  of  Milan,  duiing  the  reign 
oi  (Jharle*  VL 


J  i94.]  CHARLES   VIII.   AT   PAVI/.  131 

to  have  been  silent  ;  but  he  was  never  employed  in,  nor 
indeed  was  he  fit  for,  any  affairs  of  state  ;  for  he  had  not  the 
command  of  his  tongue,  though  otherwise  he  was  very 
well  affected  to  his  master.  The  conclusion  of  all  was,  that 
several  ambassadors  should  be  sent ;  and  I,  among  the  rest, 
was  sent  to  Venice. 

I  put  off  my  journey  for  some  days,  because  the  king  was 
fallen  sick  of  the  small-pox,  and  being  taken  with  a  high 
fever  besides,  was  thought  to  be  in  danger  ;  but  it  lasted 
not  above  five  or  six  days,  so  that  I  went  upon  my  journey, 
and  others  went  to  other  places.  I  left  the  king  at  Asti,  not 
suspecting  in  the  least  that  he  would  have  proceeded  any 
farther.  In  six  days'  time  I  arrived,  with  my  mules  and 
train,  at  Venice  ;  for  the  road  was  the  best  in  the  world.  I 
was  very  unwilling  to  depart,  fearing  the  king  would  go 
back  ;  but  God  had  otherwise  appointed.  The  king  marched 
directly  for  Pavia*,  by  the  way  of  Casale,  where  he  visited 
the  Marchioness  of  Montferrat,  a  lady  much  in  our  interest, 
but  a  great  enemy  to  Lord  Ludovic,  and  he  hated  her 
also.  The  king  was  no  sooner  at  Pavia,  than  suspicions 
began  to  arise  ;  they  would  have  had  the  king  to  lodge  in  the 
town,  and  not  in  the  castle;  but  nothing  would  serve  his  turn 
but  the  castle,  and  lie  there  he  did,  and  his  guards  were 
doubled  that  night,  as  some  have  told  me  since,  who  were 
then  witli  him.  The  Lord  Ludovic  was  much  surprised  at 
it,  and  questioned  the  king  about  it,  asking  whether  he  was 
suspicious  of  him.  In  short,  things  were  so  carried  on  both 
sides,  that  amity  was  not  like  to  last  long  :  but  our  people 
were  the  most  indiscreet  in  their  language ;  not  the  king, 
but  some  of  his  nearest  relations.  In  this  Castle  of  Pavia 
there  was  at  that  time  John  Galeas,  Duke  of  Milan  (whom  I 
have  mentioned  before),  and  his  wife,  the  daughter  of  Kin«- 
Alphonso.  The  duchess  looked  very  melancholy  ;  for  her 
husband  was  dangerously  sick,  and  kept  in  that  castle  under 
guard  with  herself,  her  son,  and  one  or  two  of  her  daughters. 
Her  son  is  still  living,  and  was  then  about  five  years  of  age. 
Nobody  might  see  the  duke,  but  any  one  might  see  the  child. 
I  passed  that  way  three  days  before  the  king,  but  was  unable 
to  see  the  duke,  and  was  told  he  was  very  ill  indeed.     How« 

•  Charles  VIII.  entered  Pavia  on  the  14th  of  October,  1494. 

K  2 


iZ'2  THE    MEMOIRS   OP    PHILIP   Dff   COMMINKS.  [1494. 

<5ver,  the  king  visited  him  when  lie  came,  for  he  was  his 
cousin-german.  His  majesty  told  me  afterwards,  the  subject 
of  their  discourse  was  only  in  general  terms,  for  he  was  un- 
willing to  offend  Count  Ludovic  in  anything ;  yet  he  had  a 
great  mind  (as  he  said)  to  have  given  him  notice  of  the  designs 
against  him.  At  the  same  time  the  duchess  threw  herself 
it  Ludovic's  feet,  and  begged  of  him  to  have  compassion  on 
her  father  and  brother  ;  he  replied  it  was  not  in  his  power; 
but  she  had  more  reason  to  have  petitioned  for  her  husband 
and  herself,  for  she  was  still  young  and  very  beautiful. 

From  thence  the  king  marched  to  Placentia*,  where 
Ludovic  was  informed  that  his  nephew,  the  Duke  of  Milan, 
lay  a  dying  ;  so  he  took  his  leave  of  the  king,  and,  being 
pressed  to  return,  he  promised  faithfully  to  do  so.  Before 
he  reached  Pavia  the  duke  was  deadf ,  upon  which  he  went 
post  immediately  to  Milan.  This  I  saw  in  a  letter  which 
the  Venetian  ambassador  that  was  with  him  wrote  to  Venice, 
assuring  the  Signory  of  his  design  to  make  himself  duke.  And 
it  is  certain  both  the  Dos;e  of  Venice  and  the  Signory  were 
much  against  it,  and  asked  me  if  the  king  my  master  would 
not  espouse  the  young  duke's  interest.  Though  the  thing  was 
but  reasonable,  yet  knowing  how  necessary  Ludovic's  interest 
and  assistance  were  to  the  king's  designs,  my  answer  was  in 
doubtful  terms. 


Ch.  VIII. — How-  and  by  what  Means  the  Lord  Ludovic  seized  and 
usurped  the  Lordship  and  Duchy  of  Milan,  and  was  received  by  the 
Milanese  as  their  Sovereign. — 1494. 

In  short,  he  made  himself  Duke  of  Milan,  and,  as  many 
affirmed,  that  was  his  design  in  inviting  and  drawing  us  into 
Italy.  He  was  charged  also  with  the  death  of  his  nephew, 
whose  friends  and  relations  put  themselves  in  a  condition  to 
wrest  the  government  out  of  his  hands  ;  and  they  might 
easily  have  done  it,  had  it  not  been  for  his  alliance  with  our 
king  ;  for  they  had  already  assembled  their  forces  in  Romagna, 

*  The  king  arrived  in  Piacenza  on  the  18th  of  October. 
f  The  Dike  of  Milan  died  on  the  22nd  of  October. 


1194.]  THE   LORD   LUDOVIC    SEIZES:    .MILAN.  133 

as  you  have  heard  ;  but  the  Count  di  Cajazzo,  and  Monsieur 
d'Aubigny  made  them  retire.  For  when  Monsieur  d'Aubigny 
with  about  a  hundred  and  fifty  or  two  hundred  French  men 
at-arms  and  a  good  body  of  Swiss,  advanced  upon  them,  Dor- 
Ferrand  retreated  towards  his  friends,  keeping  about  half 
a  day's  march  before  us  towards  Forli*,  which  belonged  to  a 
ladyf  that  was  a  bastard  of  the  house  of  Milan,  and  widow 
of  Count  Hieronimo,  who  was,  or  said  he  was,  a  nephew  to 
Pope  Sixtus.  It  was  reported  that  she  favoured  their  party, 
but  our  men  battered  a  small  town  J  of  hers  for  half  a  day,  an  1 
took  it  by  storm  ;  upon  which  and  the  inclination  she  had 
to  us  before,  she  came  over  to  our  side.  The  people  of  Italy 
began  generally  to  assume  new  courage,  and  be  desirous  of 
change ;  for  they  saw  a  thing  that  they  had  never  seen 
before,  and  that  was  the  use  of  great  guns,  which  had  never 
been  so  well  understood  in  France  till  then.  Don  Ferrand 
retreated  towards  his  own  kingdom,  and  marched  for  Cesenna§, 
a  strong  city  of  the  pope's,  in  the  marquisate  of  Ancona  ; 
but  the  people  stripped  and  plundered  all  the  stragglers  they 
could  meet  with,  for  they  were  disposed  all  over  Italy  to 
revolt,  had  things  been  managed  wisely  on  our  part,  without 
violence  and  plunder.  But  all  was  done  quite  contrary,  at 
which  1  was  extremely  concerned,  for,  by  this  way  of  pro- 
ceeding, we  lost  all  the  honour  and  renown  that  the  French 
nation  might  otherwise  have  gained  in  that  expedition.  At 
our  first  entrance  into  Italy  we  were  regarded  like  saints,  and 
everybody  thought  us  people  of  the  greatest  goodness  and 
sincerity  in  the  world  ;  but  that  opinion  lasted  not  long,  for 
our  own  disorders,  and  the  false  reports  of  our  enemies, 
quickly  convinced  them  of  the  contrary;  for  they  accused  us 
of  all  imaginable  rapacity,  plundering  and  robbing  their 
houses,  and  ravishing  their  wives  and  daughters,  whenever 
they  fell  into  our  hands.     Nor  could  they  have  invented  any. 

*  Forli,  the  chief  town  of  the  Legazione  di  Forli,  a  province  of  the 
Papal  States. 

f  Catherine  Sforza,  equally  celebrated  for  her  courage  and  her  beauty. 
Bee  Notes,  Book  VI.  Chap.  iv. 

J  Mordano,  in  the  county  of  Imola,  all  the  inhabitants  of  which  vrere 
put  to  the  sword. — Sismondi,  xii.  163. 

§  Cescna,  a  pretty  town  in  the  province  of  Forli,  near  the  foot  of  th» 
Apennines. 

K   3 


134  THE    MEMOIRS    OF    PHILIP    DE    COMMINES.  [1  194. 

thing  to  render  us  more  odious,  for  the  people  of  Italy  are 
the  most  jealous  and  avaricious  of  any  in  Europe.  As  to  our 
ravishing  of  the  women  they  wronged  us  ;  but  for  the  rest, 
there  was  too  much  truth  in  what  they  said. 


Ch.  IX. — How  Peter  de  Medicis  put  Four  of  his  strongest  Garrisons 
into  the  King's  Possession;  and  how  the  King  restored  Pisa,  which 
was  one  of  them,  to  its  ancient  Liberty.—  1494. 

The  king,  as  you  have  heard,  was  at  Placentia,  where  he 
ordered  a  solemn  funeral  service  to  be  performed  for  his 
cousin-german  the  Duke  of  Milan  ;  and  indeed  he  knew  not 
how  else  to  spend  his  time,  since  Ludovic,  the  new  Duke  of 
Milan,  had  left  him.  Those  who  had  an  opportunity  of  being 
well  acquainted  with  these  affairs  have  told  me,  that  the 
whole  army,  understanding  how  ill  they  were  provided  with 
everything  necessary  for  such  an  expedition,  had  a  great 
incl  nation  to  return  home ;  and  that  those  who  were  the 
chief  promoters  of  it  at  first,  began  now  to  condemn  it ;  as, 
for  instance,  the  Lord  d'Urfe,  master  of  the  horse,  (though 
he  was  at  that  time  sick  at  Genoa),  for  he  wrote  a  letter 
upon  some  intelligence  that  he  pretended  to  receive,  which 
increased  and  heightened  their  former  fears  and  apprehen- 
sions. But  God,  as  I  said  before,  conducted  this  enterprise, 
for  the  king  suddenly  received  news  that  the  new  Duke  of 
Milan  was  upon  his  return,  and  that  the  Florentines  were 
disposed  to  an  alliance  with  us,  in  opposition  to  Peter  de 
Medicis,  who  played  the  tyrant  amongst  them,  to  the  great 
dissatisfaction  of  his  nearest  relations,  and  other  considerable 
families  in  that  city,  as  the  Capponi,  Soderini,  and  Nerli, 
and  almost  the  whole  town  ;  upon  which  the  king  left  Pla- 
centia, and  marched  towards  the  territories  of  the  Floren- 
tines, to  force  them  to  declare  for  him,  »a-  k»  seis*-  upon  their 
towns,  which  were  but  in  au  ill  posture  01  aetence,  and  take 
up  his  winter-quarters  in  them,  as  the  cold  weather  had 
already  begun.  Several  small  places  received  him  very 
readily,  and  so  did  the  city  of  Lucca,  which  at  that  time  was 
at  war  with  Florence.     The  Duke  of  Milan  had  always  ad- 


1434.]  AFFAIRS   OF    FIORENOE.  135 

vised  the  king  to  take  up  his  quarters  in  those  parts,  and 
advance  no  farther  that  winter,  in  hopes,  by  the  king's 
interest  and  favour,  to  get  into  ins  own  possession  Pisa,  a 
strong  and  fair  city,  Sarzana,  and  Pietrasanta,  for  the  two 
last  had  belonged  lately  to  Genoa,  and  had  been  taken 
from  them  by  the  Florentines,  in  the  time  of  Laurence  de 
Medicis. 

The  king  marched  by  Pontremoli,  which  belongs  to  tiie 
duchy  of  Milan,  and  besieged  Sarzana,  the  strongest  castle  thfi 
Florentines  had,  but  ill  provided,  by  reason  of  their  divi- 
sions ;  and,  to  say  truly,  the  Florentines  never  fight  willingly 
against  the  French,  for  they  have  been  always  faithful  and 
serviceable  to  them,  in  respect  of  their  trade  and  interest  in 
France,  and  also  upon  account  of  their  being  Guelphs.* 
Had  Sarzana  been  furnished  as  it  ought  to  have  been,  the 
king's  army  had  certainly  been  ruined  in  besieging  it,  fur 
the  country  is  mountainous  and  barren,  full  of  snow,  and 
not  able  to  supply  us  with  provisions.  The  king  lay  before 
it  but  three  days,  and  the  Duke  of  Milan  came  to  him  before 
any  composition  was  made.  Having  passed  through  Pontre- 
moli, the  citizens  and  garrison  fell  out  with  our  Germans,  who 
were  commanded  by  one  Buser,  and  in  the  dispute  some  of  our 
Germans  were  slain.  I  was  not  present  at  this  action  my- 
self, but  I  was  informed  of  it  both  by  the  king,  the  duke,  and 
several  others  that  were  there ;  and  this  accident  produced 
great  inconveniences,  as  you  will  find  hereafter.  Our  affairs 
went  smoothly  on  at  Florence,  and  were  brought  to  that 
height,  that  fifteen  or  sixteen  persons  were  deputed  to  attend 
the  king,  as  the  citizens  publicly  declared  they  would  not 
expose  themselves  to  the  displeasure  of  the  king  and  the 
Duke  of  Milan,  who  had  a  resident  ambassador  in  Florence  ; 
and  Peter  de  Medicis  was  forced  to  concur  in  this  embassy, 
for,  as  matters  then  stood,  he  knew  not  how  to  avoid  it,  and 
to  have  done  otherwise  would  have  ruined  them,  considering 
how  ill  they  were  both  provided  and  disciplined.  Upon  the 
arrival  of  their  ambassadors,  they  offered  to  receive  the  king 
into  Florence,  and  what  other  places  his  majesty  pleased  ; 
but  the  designs  of  most  of  them  were  fixed  upon  his  journey 

*  The  Guelphs  and  the  Ghibcllincs  were  tvo  factions  that  began  ia 
Italy  in  the  reign  of  the  Emperor  Frederic  II.  The  former  espoused 
the  pojfcj'g  interest,  and  the  latter  that  of  the  emperor. 

*    4 


136  THE  MEMOIRS   OF    PHILIP    DE    COMM1NES.  J  1 494, 

to  Florence,  which  they  thought  would  conduce  to  the  ex- 
pulsion of  Peter  de  Medicis,  and  they  pressed  it  very  ear- 
nestly by  means  of  those  who  then  conducted  the  king's 
affairs,  whom  I  have  often  mentioned  before. 

On  the  other  hand,  Peter  de  Medicis  managed  his  affairs 
as  diligently,  by  means  of  one  Laurence  Spinoli,  his  factor, 
who  governed  his  bank  at  Lyons,  and  was  a  man  of  inte- 
grity, and  had  lived  a  considerable  time  in  France ;  but  he 
could  get  no  intelligence  of  the  secret  affairs  of  our  court, 
nor  indeed  could  those  who  lived  constantly  in  it  rely  po- 
sitively upon  anything,  their  counsels  were  so  various. 
However,  Spinoli  practised  with  those  who  had  authority 
there,  such  as  the  Lord  de  Bresse  (who  has  since  become 
Duke  of  Savoy,)  and  the  Lord  de  Myolans,  who  was  cham- 
berlain to  the  king.  As  soon  as  the  Florentine  ambassadors 
were  returned,  Peter  de  Medicis,  and  some  of  his  friends, 
waited  on  the  king,  Avith  their  answers  to  what  had  been 
demanded.  They  perceived  that  their  inevitable  ruin  in  the 
city  would  be  the  consequence  of  disputing  anything  the 
king  thought  fit  to  require  ;  wherefore  they  resolved  to  gain 
his  favour,  by  doing  something  extraordinary,  beyond  what 
the  rest  had  done. 

Upon  the  news  of  his  approach,  the  Lord  de  Piennes,  a 
native  of  Flanders,  and  chamberlain  to  the  king,  and  Mon- 
sieur Brissonet  (whom  I  have  so  often  mentioned  before), 
were  sent  to  meet  him.  They  proposed  the  surrender  of 
Sarzana  to  Peter  de  Medicis,  which  was  immediately  done. 
They  demanded  farther,  that  he  would  give  the  king  pos- 
session of  Pisa,  Leghorn,  Pietrasanta,  and  Librefatta,  and 
he  granted  it,  without  communicating  with  his  colleagues, 
who  were  told,  that  the  king  was  to  he  received  into  Pisa, 
and  stay  there  some  time  to  refresh  his  troops  ;  but  th«-v 
never  thought  those  places  were  to  be  left  in  his  hands. 
However,  their  whole  power  and  strength  were  put  into  our 
hands.  Those  who  managed  this  treaty  with  Peter  de  Medicis 
have  often  told  me  and  other  people,  with  smiles  and  laughter, 
of  his  condescensions  ;  for  they  were  astonished  at  them, 
and  he  made  several  concessions,  which  they  had  scarce  the 
confidence  to  demand.  In  short,  the  kino-  entered  Pisa  *  : 
and  the  ambassadors  returned  to  Florence,  where  Peter  de 

*  On  the  9th  of  November,  1494. 


1494.  J  LIBERATION   OF    VISA.  137 

Medicis  ordered  lodgings  to  be  prepared  for  the  king  in  his 
own  house,  which  is  the  fairest  and  best  furnished  house  fur 
a  merchant  and  man  of  his  quality  that  I  have  ever  seen. 

We  must  now  say  something  of  the  Duke  of  Milan,  who 
was  already  grown  weary  of  the  king,  and  heartily  wished 
him  out  of  Italy,  so  that  he  might  keep  in  possession  of  such 
places  as  had  been  delivered  up  by  the  Florentines.  He 
pressed  the  king  very  hard  to  have  Sarzana  and  Pietra- 
santa,  which,  he  said,  belonged  to  the  Genoese,  and,  at  the 
same  time,  he  lent  the  king  thirty  thousand  ducats,  upon 
which  (as  he  told  me,  and  several  others  afterwards)  he 
was  promised  that  he  should  have  them  ;  but,  finding  he 
could  not  get  them,  he  was  highly  disgusted,  and  pretending 
his  affairs  required  him  at  home,  he  left  the  king,  who  never 
saw  him  afterwards.  But  he  ordered  the  Lord  Galeas  di 
St.  Severino  to  stay  with  the  king,  giving  him  instructions 
that  he  should  be  present  in  all  councils  with  the  Count 
Charles  de  Bellejoyeuse,  whom  I  have  mentioned  before. 
During  the  king's  stay  at  Pisa,  the  said  Lord  Galeas,  at  his 
master's  instigation,  invited  several  of  the  chief  citizens  of 
the  town  to  his  lodging,  and  advised  them  to  rebel  against 
the  Florentines,  and  petition  the  king  to  restore  them  to  their 
liberty;  hoping,  by  this  means,  that  the  city  would  fall  again 
into  the  Duke  of  Milan's  hands,  as  had  formerly*  been  the 
case  in  the  time  of  Duke  John  Galeas,  the  first  Duke  of 
Milan  of  that  name;  which  John  was  a  great  and  wicked 
tyrant,  but  lived  very  honourably.  His  body  lies  in  the 
Chartreux  at  Pavia,  not  far  from  the  park,  and  is  laid  much 
higher  than  the  altar  ;  the  monks  showed  it  me,  or,  at  least, 
his  bones  (and  I  mounted  a  ladder  to  see  them),  which  were 
no  sweeter  than  nature  permitted.  One  of  the  monks,  who 
was  born  at  Bourges,  in  discourse,  called  him  a  saint ;  I 
whispered  him  in  the  ear,  and  asked  hiin  why  he  gave  him 
the  title  of  Saint;  for  one  might  see,  painted  about  him,  the 
arms  of  several  cities  which  lie  had  wrongfully  usurped  ;  be- 
sides which,  his  horse  and  himself,  carved  in  fine  marble, 
were  placed  above  the  altar,  and  his  body  lay  under  the  feet 
of  his  horse.  He  answered  me  softly,  "  In  this  country  wo 
call  all  saints  who  do  us  any  good ;  and   he  built  us  this 

*  In  1399. 


138  THE    MEMOIUS    OF    PHILIP    DE    COMBINES.  [1494. 

church; "  which  is  of  fair  marble,  and,  indeed,  the  handsomest 
1  ever  saw  in  my  life  of  that  kind. 

But  to  proceed :  this  Galeas  di  St.  Severino  had  an  ambi- 
tion to  be  a  great  man,  and  Ludovic,  Duke  of  Milan  (whose 
bastard  daughter  he  had  married),  seemed  ambitious  of 
making  him  so,  and  took  as  much  interest  in  him  as  if  he 
had  been  his  son,  for  his  own  children  were  not  of  age  as 
yet.  The  Pisans  had  been  cruelly  treated  by  the  Floren- 
tines, who  used  them  as  their  slaves ;  for  they  had  been 
conquered  by  them  about  one  hundred  years*,  much  about 
the  same  time  as  the  Venetians  subdued  Paduaf,  which  was 
their  first  acquisition  upon  the  main  land.  These  two  cities 
were  much  alike ;  they  had  been  long  enemies  to  those  who 
had  the  government  of  them  ;  they  were  almost  equal  in 
power,  and  it  was  a  great  while  before  they  could  be  con- 
quered. The  Pisans  now  called  a  council,  and,  finding  them- 
selves encouraged  by  so  great  a  person,  and  being  naturally 
desirous  of  liberty,  as  the  king  was  going  to  mass,  a  great 
number  of  men  and  women  cried  out  to  him,  "  Liberty, 
Liberty,"  begging  of  him,  with  tears  in  their  eyes,  that  he 
would  vouchsafe  to  restore  it  to  them.  There  was  at  that 
time  one  Rabot  J,  a  counsellor  of  the  parliament  of  Dauphiny, 
and  then  either  actually  Master  of  the  Requests,  or  executing 
that  office  for  somebody  else,  who  (having  promised  to  do 
so,  or  not  well  understanding  the  nature  of  their  demands) 
acquainted  the  king  (as  he  was  walking  before  him)  with 
the  deplorable  condition  of  the  Pisans,  and  told  his  majesty 
he  ought  in  pity  to  redress  their  wrongs,  for  never  people 
had  been  so  tyrannically  dealt  with.  The  king  not  under- 
standing what  they  meant  by  that  word  liberty,  and  begin- 
ning to  commiserate  the  afflictions  of  Italy,  and  the  miseries 
the  poor  subjects  endured,  both  under  princes  and  com- 
monwealths, replied,  he  was  willing  it  should  be  so ;  though 
(to  speak  truth)  he  had  no  authority  to  grant  it,  for  the  town 
was  not  his  own,  and  he  was  received  into  it  only  in  friend- 
ship, and  to  relieve  him  in  his  great  necessities.     Monsieur 

*  The  Florentines  became  masters  of  Pisa  on  the  9th  of  October, 
1406 

f  The  Venetians  conquered  Padua  on  the  17th  ot  November,  1405. 

X  Jean  Rabot,  knight,  Lord  of  Uppi,  and  a  man  of  great  influence 
with  Charles  VIIL 


1494.]  THE    KING   DEPARTS    J  OK    FLORENCE.  139 

Rabot  told  them  the  king's  answer,  and  the  people  began 
immediately  to  fill  the  streets  with  acclamations  of  joy;  aud 
running  to  the  end  of  the  bridge  upon  the  River  Arno,  they 
pulled  down  a  great  lion,  called  Marzocchi,  which  stood  upon 
a  marble  pillar,  and  represented  the  government  of  Florence, 
and  threw  it  into  the  river.  When  they  had  so  done,  they 
caused  a  statue  of  the  King  of  France  to  be  set  on  the  pillar, 
with  his  sword  in  his  hand,  and  the  Marzocchi,  or  lion,  under 
his  horse's  feet.  After  that,  when  the  King  of  the  Romans 
came  to  that  town*,  they  served  the  King  of  France's  statue 
as  they  had  served  the  lion ;  for  it  is  the  nature  of  the 
Italians  to  side  always  with  the  strongest ;  but  these  Pisans 
were,  and  are  still,  so  barbarously  treated,  that  they  ought  to 
be  excused  for  what  they  did. 


Ch.  X. — How  the  King  departed  from  Pisa  to  go  to  Florence;  and  of 
the  Flight  and  Destruction  of  Peter  de  Medicis. —  1494. 

The  king  stayed  not  long  there  f,  but  departed  for  Flo- 
rence ;  where  they  complained  to  him  of  the  injury  he  had 
done  to  the  Florentines,  and  that  it  was  contrary  to  his 
promise,  to  restore  the  Pisans  to  their  liberty.  Those  whom 
he  appointed  to  answer  their  complaint,  excused  his  con- 
duct in  the  best  manner  they  could;  alleging,  that  his 
majesty  had  not  been  rightly  informed,  and  they  entered 
into  another  agreement,  of  which  I  shall  say  something  lvre- 
af'ter.  But,  in  the  first  place,  I  must  speak  of  the  fate  of 
Peter  de  Medicis,  and  of  the  king's  entrance  into  Florence, 
and  of  the  garrisons  that  his  majesty  left  in  Pisa  and  other 
places,  which  the  Florentines  had  lent  him. 

After  Peter  de  Medicis,  by  the  consent  of  some  few  of 
his  colleagues,  had  delivered  up  the  above-mentioned  towns 
to  the  king,  he  returned  to  Florence,  where  the  people  sup- 
posed the  king  would  not  keep  them,  but  that  after  he  had 
refreshed  himself  for  three  or  four  days,  and  had   left  Pisa, 

»  In  1496. 

t  The  king  remained  six  days  in  Pisa,  and  entered  Fbrence  on  *.h< 
17  th  of  November,  1494. 


140  THE    MEMOIRS   OF    PHILiP    DE    COMMIXES.  [1494 

they  would  be  delivered  up  again.     I  am  of  opinion  that, 
had  the  king  proposed  to  them  to  remain   there  the  whole 
winter,  they  would  easily  have  consented  to  it ;  though  Pisa, 
except   in   the   numbers  of  the  people,  and  the  richness  of 
their  furniture,  is  of  greater  value  and  importance  to  them 
than  Florence  itself.     However,  Peter  de  Medicis,  upon  his 
return  to  Florence,  was  but  coldly  received  by  the  people, 
who  looked  discontentedly  upon  him,  and  not  without  reason  ; 
for  he  had  disarmed  them  of  all  their  power  and  authority, 
and  rubbed  them  of  all  the  conquests  they  had  gained  for  a 
hundred  years  before  ;  so  that  their  hearts  seemed  to  presage 
the  calamities  which    have  happened  to  them  since.     For 
this  cause  (which  I  believe  was  the  principal,  though  they 
never  declared  it),  for  the  hatred  they  bore  him  (as  I  have 
said  before),  and  for  the  recovery  of  their  liberties,  of  which 
they  believed  themselves  deprived  (without  any  respect  to 
the  services  done  them  by  Cosmo  and  Laurence  his  prede- 
cessors), they  resolved  to  drive  him  out  of  the  town.    Peter 
de  Medicis  having  some  suspicion,  but  no  certain  knowledge, 
of  their  designs,  went  to   the  palace  to  announce  the  king's 
approach,   who  was  within  three    miles   of  the   city ;    but 
coming,  according  to  his  usual  custom,  with  his  guards,  and 
knocking  boldly  at  the  palace  gate,  he  was  denied  entrance 
by  one  of  the  Nerli  *  (of  whom  there  were  several  brothers, 
with   whom   I   was   well    acquainted,   and  also    with    their 
father,  all  very  wealthy  people),    who  told   him  he  might 
enter  alone   if  he  pleased,  but  otherwise  not ;  and  he  that 
gave  him  this  answer  was   armed.     Upon   which  Peter  de 
Medicis  returned  at  once  to  his  house,  put  himself  and  his 
retainers  in  arms,  and  sent  word  to  one  Paul  Ursini  f,  who 
was  in  the    Florentine   service ;    for  by  his    mother's    side 
Peter  de  Medicis  was  akin  to  the  Ursini,  and  both  his  father 
and  himself  had  always  had  several  of  that  family  in  their 
service;  and   he  resolved  to  stand  upon  his  guard,  and  op- 
pose any  insurrection  that  might  happen  in  the  city.     But, 
not  long  after,  hearing  a  great  cry  of  "  Liberty,  Liberty," 

*  Giacopo  de  Nerli,  gonfalonier  of  one  of  the  city  companies.— 
Sismondi,  xii.  147. 

t  Paolo  Ursini,  Marquis  of  Tripalda,  and  Lord  of  Lomentana;  ha 
was  strangled.  l>y  order  of  Caesar  Borgia,  on  the  18th  of  January,  1503. 
Ilia  titter,  Clarissa  Orsini,  was  the  mother  of  Pietro  de'  Medici. 


1491.]  FLIGHT    OF    PETER    DE    MEDICIS.  14,1 

and  seeing  the  people  assembled  in  arms,  he  left  the  city 
according  to  the  prudent  advice  that  was  given  him  by 
Ursini  ;  but  it  was  a  sad  parting  for  him,  for  in  power  and 
riches  he  and  his  predecessors,  since  the  time  of  Cosmo,  had 
been  equal  to  the  greatest  princes,  and  on  that  day  fortune 
began  to  be  adverse,  and  he  lost  both  authority  and  estate. 
I  was  at  Venice  myself,  but  the  news  was  communicated  to 
me  by  the  Florentine  ambassador,  who  was  there,  and  I  was 
extremely  concerned  at  it ;  for  I  had  a  great  affection  for 
his  father.  Had  this  Peter  believed  me  formerly,  he  had 
not  then  been  in  that  condition  ;  for  upon  my  first  arrival  at 
Venice  I  wrote  to  him,  and  offered  to  make  his  peace  with 
the  king,  and  it  was  in  my  power  to  have  done  it  ;  for  I  had 
verbal  commission,  from  both  the  Seneschal  of  Beaucaire  and 
Brissonet,  to  do  it,  and  the  king  would  have  been  contented 
with  passage  for  his  troops,  or,  at  the  worst,  to  have  had 
Leghorn  put  into  his  hands,  in  return  for  which,  he  would 
have  done  whatever  Peter  could  have  desired  ;  but,  by  the 
persuasion  and  ill  counsel  of  Peter  Capponi,  whom  I  have 
mentioned  before,  he  did  but  laugh  at  me  for  the  offer  I 
made  him. 

The  next  morning  the  Florentine  ambassador  delivered 
a  letter  to  the  Signory  of  Venice,  importing  that  Peter  de 
Medicis  was  banished  from  Florence  for  endeavouring  to 
make  himself  sovereign  of  that  city,  by  the  assistance  of  the 
Ursini,  and  of  the  house  of  Arragon  ;  with  other  complaints 
besides  against  him,  which  were  not  true.  But  such  are 
the  accidents  of  this  world  ;  he  who  is  beaten  and  flies,  is 
not  only  sure  to  be  pursued  by  his  enemies,  but  is  forsaken, 
and  perhaps  persecuted  by  his  friends  ;  as  was  too  visible  in 
the  behaviour  of  this  ambassador,  Paul  Anthony  Soderini  * 
(one  of  the  wisest  statesmen  in  all  Italy).  The  day  before 
the  delivery  of  this  letter  he  mentioned  Peter  de  Medicis 
to  me  with  the  respect  due  to  his  sovereign  lord,  but  now  he 
declared  himself  his  enemy  by  order  from  the  State;  but,  to 
do  him  justice,  he  said  nothing  of  his  own  feelings.  The  next 
day  I  was  informed  that  Peter  de  Medicis  was  coming  to 

*  Paolo  Antonio  Soderini,  born  in  1448,  was  appointed  one  of  the 
Council  of  Ten  in  1494,  and  Gonfalonier  of  Justice  in  1497.  He  waa 
afterwards  sent  as  ambassador  to  Venice,  with  Giambattista  Ridolfi  aa 
Ills  colleague. 


142  THE    MEMOIRS   OF    PHILIP    DE   COMMINES.  [1494 

Venice,  that  the  king  had  made  his  triumphal  entry  into 
Florence,  and  that  the  senate  had  recalled  their  ambassador, 
telling  him,  that  "  he  must  sail  with  that  wind."  I  saw  their 
letter  myself,  for  he  showed  it  me  upon  his  leaving  Venice. 
Two  days  after  his  departure,  Peter  de  Medicis  arrived  at 
Venice,  in  the  disguise  of  a  servant  in  livery.  The  Vene- 
tians were  at  a  loss  how  to  behave  themselves  towards  him  ; 
they  were  afraid  of  disobliging  the  king,  and  yet  they  could 
not  in  reason  refuse  to  give  him  protection  ;  however,  they 
made  him  wait  outside  the  town  for  two  days,  and  desired 
to  know  of  me  how  my  master  would  take  it  :  1  had  never 
received  any  orders  from  the  king  to  resent  it,  and,  being 
willing  to  serve  him,  I  answered,  "  That  I  supposed  his  flight 
was  for  fear  of  the  people,  not  of  the  king."  Upon  which 
he  was  received,  and  the  next  day  after  his  appearance 
before  the  Signory  I  made  him  a  visit.  The  Signory 
ordered  a  handsome  apartment  for  him,  permitted  him  and 
about  twenty  of  his  retinue  to  wear  their  swords,  and  showed 
him  a  great  deal  of  honour  and  respect ;  for,  though  his 
grandfather  Cosmo  had  formerly  hindered  them  from  mak- 
ing themselves  masters  of  Milan  *,  yet  they  had  a  reverence 
for  the  honour  of  his  family,  which  had  been  so  renowned 
and  triumphant  all  over  Christendom. 

When  I  came  into  his  presence,  methought  he  seemed  not 
to  answer  my  expectation.  He  gave  me  a  long  narrative  of 
his  misfortunes,  and  I  gave  him  the  best  consolation  I  could, 
Among  the  rest  of  his  complaints,  he  told  me  he  had  lost 
all  ;  but  that  which  made  the  deepest  impression  on  his 
spirits  was,  that,  having  written  to  his  factor  in  that  town 
to  furnish  him  with  cloth  for  himself  and  his  brother,  though 
only  to  the  value  of  a  hundred  ducats,  he  had  been  refused. 
Not  long  after  he  had  good  news  from  the  Lord  de  Bresse, 
who  has  since  become  Duke  of  Savoy;  and  the  king  wrote 
to  him  to  come  to  him.  However,  the  king  left  Florence 
about  the  same  time,  as  you  will  find  hereafter ;  but  I  was 
forced  to  say  something  of  this  Peter  de  Medicis,  for  he  was 

*  Cosmo  de  Medici  had  greatly  encouraged  and  assisted  hie  friend 
Francesco  Sforza  in  subjugating  Milan  and  its  territory,  saying  "  it  was 
far  better  to  have  a  powerful  friend  for  one's  neighbour  than  a  formidable 
foe." — See  Machiavelli's  History  of  Florence,  ]>.  284. 


1494.]  THE   KING    LNTERS   FLORENCE  143 

a  great  man,  considering  his  estate  and  authority,  which 
his  family  had  enjoyed  in  its  fullest  extent  for  threescore 
years. 


Ch.  XI. — How  the  King  made  his  Entrance  into  Florence,  and  what 
other  Towns  he  passed  through  in  his  March  to  Rome. — 1494. 

The  next  day  the  king  made  his  entrance  into  the  city 
of  Florence,  where  Peter  de  Medicis  had  prepared  apart- 
ments for  him  in  his  own  palace,  and  appointed  the  Lord  de 
Ballassat  to  attend  him  ;  but,  as  soon  as  that  nobleman  was 
informed  of  the  flight  of  Peter  de  Medicis,  he  fell  to  rifling 
the  palace,  upon  pretence  that  the  bank  of  Lyons  was  in 
arrear  to  him  for  a  considerable  sum  of  money  ;  and  among 
other  things  he  seized  upon  a  whole  unicorn's  horn  *,  valued 
at  six  or  seven  thousand  ducats,  besides  two  great  pieces  of 
another,  and  several  other  things ;  and  other  people  followed 
his  example.  The  best  of  his  furniture  had  been  conveyed 
into  another  house  in  the  city ;  but  the  mob  plundered  it. 
The  Signory  got  part  of  his  richest  jewels,  twenty  thousand 
ducats  in  ready  money,  that  he  had  in  his  bank  in  the  city  ; 
several  fine  agate  cups,  besides  an  incredible  number  of 
cameos  admirably  well  cut,  which  I  had  formerly  seen,  and 
three  thousand  medals  of  gold  and  silver,  weighing  near 
forty  pounds'  weight,  and  I  believe  there  were  not  so  many 
fine  medals  in  all  Italy  besides :  so  that  his  losses  in  the 
city  that  day  might  be  computed  at  a  hundred  thousand 
crowns,  if  not  more. 

But  the  king  being  arrived  in  the  city  of  Florence,  a 
treaty  f  was  made  betsveen   him  and  the  Florentines,  and  I 

*  The  unicorn's  horn  was  highly  valued  in  the  middle  ages,  because 
it  was  believed  to  possess  the  power  of  detecting  poison  in  meat  and 
drink.  Cuvier  is  of  opinion  that  the  animal  whose  horn  was  supposed 
to  be  endowed  with  this  precious  quality  was  the  Oryx,  or  Egyptian 
antelope,  which  is  remarkable  for  its  long,  straight,  and  tapering  horns. 

t  This  treaty  was  published  in  the  Cathedral  of  Florence  during  the 
celebration  of  mass  on  the  26th  of  November,  1494.  It  was  at  one 
time  very  near  being  broken  oil';  for  Charles  at  first  insisted  on  condi- 
tions disgraceful  to  the  Florentines,  which  his  secretary  read  as  his  u  ti- 
matum.  Hut  the  gonfalonier  1'ietro  Cappoui  suddenly  snatched  the 
paper  from  the  secretary's  hand,  anil,  tearing  it  up,  exclaimed,  "  Welit 


I  14  TIIE    MEMOIRS    OF    TIIILIP    DE    COMMINES.  [1494 

am  of  opinion  the  citizens  embraced  it  very  heartily.  Tiiev 
gave  the  king  sixscore  thousand  ducats,  of  which  they  paid 
hira  fifty  thousand  down,  and  the  rest  in  two  short  payments 
afterward.  They  lent  him  all  the  above-mentioned  for- 
tresses, and  changed  their  arms,  which  were  the  red  fleur-de- 
lis,  and  adopted  those  of  the  king,  who  took  them  under  his 
protection,  and  swore  upon  the  altar  of  St.  John  to  restore 
the  towns  which  they  had  put  into  his  possession,  within 
foftr  months  after  bis  arrival  at  Naples,  or  sooner,  if  he 
should  return  to  France  ;  but  matters  happened  otherwise, 
as  you  will  find  in  the  sequel  of  these  Memoirs. 

The  king  made  but  a  short  stay  at  Florence  ;  but  advanced 
with  his  army  to  Sienna,  where  he  was  well  received  ;  thence 
he  advanced  to  Viterbo*,  where  the  enemy  (Don  Ferrand), 
having  retreated  towards  Rome,  designed  to  post  and  fortify 
themselves,  and  fight,  if  they  saw  an  advantageous  oppor 
tunity,  as  King  Alphonso's  and  the  Pope's  ambassadors  at 
Venice  told  me  ;  and  truly  I  expected  the  arrival  of  King 
Alphonso  in  person  there  (for  he  had  the  reputation  of  being 
a  man  of  courage),  and  that  he  would  have  left  his  son  in  the 
kingdom  of  Naples  to  manage  affairs  in  his  absence.  Accord- 
ing to  my  judgment  the  place  would  have  been  most  advan- 
tageous for  him  ;  for  he  would  have  had  his  own  kingdom  and 
the  States  of  the  Church,  and  the  towns  and  places  belonging 
to  the  Ursini  behind  him.  And  I  was  extremely  surprised 
to  receive  letters  from  the  king  announcing  that  he  was  at 
Viterbo,  and  that  one  of  the  commanders  had  delivered  up 
the  castle  upon  the  intercession  of  the  Cardinal  of  St.  Peter 
ad  Vincula  (who  was  governor  of  it)  and  of  the  Colonne.  I 
fancied  then  that  God  would  put  an  end  to  this  affair,  and 
began  to  repent  of  having  advised  and  written  to  the  king  to 
come  to  an  accommodation  ;  for  they  offered  him  very  fair  terms. 
Aquapendente,  Montefiascone,  and  all  the  adjacent  towns, 
were  delivered  up  before  the  surrender  of  Viterbo,  as  I  was 
informed  by  letters  from  the  king  and  the  Signory  of  Venice, 
who  had  daily  intelligence  of  what  passed  from  their  ambas- 

if  it  be  thus,  sound  your  trumpets,  and  we  will  ring  our  bells!"  This 
energetic  movement  daunted  the  French  king,  who  at  once  abated  his 
pretensions,  and  peace  was  concluded. — Sismondi,  xii.  168. 

*  Charles  VIII.  entered  Siena  on  the  2nd  of  December,  and  reached 
Viterbo  on  the  10th  of  the  same  mouth. 


1  494.]  CARDINAL  OF  ST.  PETER  AD  VINCULA  SENT  TO  OSTIA.   145 

sadors,  which  they  either  showed  me,  or  else  ordered  their 
secretaries  to  give  me  an  account.  From  Viterbo  the  king 
marched  towards  Rome,  and  thence  through  the  dominions  of 
the  Ursini,  which  were  all  surrendered  to  him  by  the  Lord 
Charles  Ursini*,  who  pretended  that  he  had  orders  from  his 
father  to  do  so  (who  was  still  in  Alphonso's  service),  and  said 
that,  whilst  Don  Ferrand  was  entertained  in  the  territories  of 
the  Church,  so  long  would  he  wait  on  the  king,  and  no  longer. 
'1  his  was  exactly  according  to  the  custom  in  Italy,  both 
among  princes  and  captains,  and  all  persons  ;  for  there  they 
carry  fair  with  their  very  enemies,  for  fear  it  should  be  their 
misfortune  to  be  of  the  weakest  side.  The  king  was  accord- 
ingly received  into  Bracciano,  the  chief  place  belonging  to 
Virgil  Ursini ;  it  was  a  strong  and  beautiful  castle,  and  well 
furnished  with  provisions.  1  have  heard  the  king  often  com- 
mend the  place,  and  the  entertainment  he  met  with  there ;  for 
at  that  time  his  army  was  in  great  distress  for  want  of  pro- 
vision, and  indeed  they  could  hardly  have  been  in  greater 
want  ;  so  that,  if  we  do  but  consider  how  often  this  army 
was  inclined  to  disband  since  its  first  arrival  at  Vienne  in 
Dauphiny,  and  the  many  unexpected  accidents  by  which  it 
was  supplied  and  advanced,  it  must  of  necessity  be  acknow- 
ledged that  God  Almighty  conducted  the  enterprise. 


Ch.  XII.— How  the  King  gent  the  Cardinal  of  St.  Peter  ad  Vincula 
(who  was  afterwards  Pope,  by  the  name  of  Julius  II.)  to  Ostia;  what 
the  Pope  did  at  Rome  in  the  Meantime;  and  how  the  King  entered 
Home,  notwithstanding  all  the  Endeavours  of  his  Enemies  to  the  con- 
trary; and  of  the  Factions  between  the  Ursini  and  the  Colonne  in 
Rome.— 1494. 

From  Bracciano  the  king  sent  the  Cardinal  of  St.  Peter  ad 
Vincula  to  Ostia,  of  which  he  was  bishop.  Ostia  is  a  town 
of  great  importance,  possessed  by  the  Colonne,  who  had  taken 
it  formerly  from  the  Pope ;  but  not  long  before,  it  had  been 
recovered  from  the  said  cardinal  by  the  forces  of  the  Church.f 

*  Charles,  Count  of  Auguillara,  a  natural  son  »f  Virgilio  Orsini. 
t  Cardinal  Julian  della  Rovere  surrendered  Ostia  to  tile  Papal  troops 
on  the  23rd  of  April,  1494,  and  fled  into  France.— Siswonm,  xii.  IMi. 
VOL.    IL  T 


146*  THE   MEMOIUS   OF   PHILIP   DE    COMMIXES.  I_H94. 

It  is  a  town  of  no  great  strength,  nnd  yet  it  kept  Rome 
in  subjection  a  long  time  afterwards,  by  means  of  the  said 
cardinal,  who  was  a  great  friend  to  the  Colonne,  which 
family  embraced  our  interest,  at  the  instigation  of  Cardinal 
Ascanio*  (the  Duke  of  Milan's  brother,  and  vice-chancellor 
to  the  Pope),  and  in  opposition  to  the  Ursini,  with  whom  they 
have  been  always  at  difference.  The  faction  of  these  two 
houses  has  occasioned  as  great  troubles  in  the  states  of  the 
Church  as  the  animosity  betwixt  the  Luce  and  Grandmont 
families  have  been  to  us,  or  the  Houcs  and  Caballans  to  the 
Dutch-"-  ;  and  'were  it  not  for  this  dissension,  the  territories  of 
the  Church  would  be  one  of  the  best  habitations  for  subjects 
in  the  world  ;  for  they  pay  no  taxes,  their  duties  are  few, 
and  they  would  be  sure  to  be  well  governed,  for  the  popes 
are  always  wise,  and  have  good  councillors  about  them.  But 
because  of  these  emulations,  they  are  subject  to  many  calami- 
ties, as  murders  and  plundering,  of  which  we  have  seen  fre- 
quent examples  within  these  last  four  years;  for  since  that 
time+  the  Colonne  have  been  our  enemies,  much  to  their  loss, 
for  the  king  had  given  them  estates  of  twenty  thousand 
ducats  a  year  and  more  in  the  kingdom  of  Naples,  such  as 
the  county  of  Tagliacozzo,  and  other  places  (which  were 
formerly  the  estates  of  the  Ursini),  besides  whatever  else  they 
demanded,  whether  in  men  or  money  ;  so  that  what  they 
did  was  done  treacherously  and  unhandsomely,  without  any 
manner  of  provocation  ;  but  they  had  been  always  for  the 
house  of  Arragon  against  the  French,  as  being  Ghibellines, 
and  the  Ursini  (being  Guelphs)  were  always  on  our  side 
with  the  Florentines. 

The  king  sent  with  the  Cardinal  of  St.  Peter  ad  Vincula 
to  Ostia,  Peron  de  Basche,  the  steward  of  his  household,  who 
three  days  before  had    brought  the  king  twenty  thousand 

*  Ascanio  Sforza,  born  on  the  3rd  of  March,  1445,  was  appointed 
Bishop  of  Pavia  in  1479,  and  elected  cardinal  on  the  6th  of  March, 
1 484.  Having  taken  an  active  part  in  the  election  of  Alexander  VI.  to 
the  Popedom,  he  was  appointed  vice-chancellor  by  that  pontiff;  and  he 
died  at  Rome  on  the  28th  of  March,  1505. 

f  The  families  of  Luz  and  Grammont  were  celebrated  in  Navarre  for 
their  long-continued  rivalry.  The  Hones  and  Caballans  were  two  fac- 
tions which  arose  in  the  Netherlands  about  the  middle  of  the  founeenti" 
tentury. 

J  The  Colonne  became  enemies  to  the  French  in  1495. 


1 494-]  THE   NUMBER   OF   TROOPS   AT   OST1A.  147 

ducats  by  sea,  which  was  part  of  the  money  lent  him  by  the 
Duke  of  Milan.  This  Peron  de  Basche  landed  at  Piombino, 
and  left  the  fleet  (which  was  but  small)  under  the  command 
of  the  Prince  of  Salerno,  and  the  Baron  of  Sernon*  in  Pro- 
vence ;  but  being  overtaken  suddenly  by  a  storm,  their  ship 
was  much  shattered,  and  driven  upon  the  coast  of  Sardinia, 
where  they  lay  a  long  time  without  doing  us  any  service  till 
they  could  be  repaired,  though  they  cost  us  a  vast  expense, 
and  came  not  to  us  till  the  king  was  in  Naples. 

There  were  with  the  Cardinal  at  Ostia  about  five  hundred 
men-at-arms,  and  two  thousand  Swiss  under  the  command 
of  the  Count  de  Lignyf  (the  king's  cousiu-german  by  his 
mother's  side),  the  Lord  of  AllegreJ,  and  others.  Their 
design  was  to  have  passed  the  Tiber,  and  enclosed  Don 
Ferrand  in  Rome,  by  the  favour  and  assistance  of  the 
Colonne,  of  whom  the  chief  were  Prospero  and  Fabritio 
Colonna,  and  the  Cardinal  Colonna§,  who  had  two  thousand 
foot  under  their  command,  to  pay  whom  the  king  remitted 
money  by  Peron  de  Basche,  though  they  had  raised  and  mus- 
tered them  at  their  own  pleasure  at  Sansonna  |j,  a  town 
belonging  to  them. 

We  must  here  observe  that  several  affairs  are  coincident  in 
this  place,  and  of  every  one  of  them  something  must  be  said. 
Before  the  king  had  made  his  entrance  into  Viterbo,  he  had 
6ent  the  Lord  de  la  TremouilleL.  his  chamberlain,  the  Presi- 

*  Louis  de  Villeneuvc,  Lord  of  Serenon,  and  Marquis  of  Trans,  in 
Provence. 

f  Louis  de  Luxembourg,  Prince  of  Altramura,  Duke  of  Andria  and 
Venusia,  Count  of  Ligny,  and  Governor  of  Picardy;  afterwards  Lord 
High  Chamberlain  to  Louis  XII. 

X  Yves,  Baron  of  Alegre,  and  captain  of  the  hundred  gentlemen  of 
the  king's  household. 

§  Prospero  Colonna,  Duke  of  Traetta,  and  Count  of  Fondi ;  Fabri- 
rio  Colonna,  Duke  of  Pagliano  and  Tagliacozzo,  Constable  of  Naples, 
and  cousin-german  to  Prospero;  Giovanni  Colonna.  brother  of  Pros- 
pero, created  a  cardinal  on  the  15th  of  May,  1480. — LsmoifF,  218,  219, 
Tl'2.. 

i|  Gcnzano,  a  town  in  the  Papal  States. — Sjsmondi,  xii.  182. 

|  Louis  II.,  Lord  of  La  Tremouille,  Viscount  of  Thouars,  and  Prince  of 
Talmont,  surnamed  the  Chevalier  sans  reproche ;  created  Governor  of 
Burgundy  and  Admiral  of  Guienne  in  1502;  and  killed  in  the  battle  of 
Pavia,  on  the  24th  of  February,  1524.  The  estates  of  this  nobleman 
had  been  conferred  on  Comminca  bf  Louis  XL,  and  a  full  account  of 

l'2 


HS  THE   MEM0IR3   OF   PHILIP   DE    COMMINES.  [1491. 

dent  of  Gannay*,  who  had  the  seal,  and  Monsieur  Bidaut  f, 
to  Rome,  to  treat  with  the  Pope,  who  was  never  without  some 
underhand  practices,  according  to  the  mode  of  the  Italians. 
While  they  were  at  Rome,  the  Pope  in  the  night  received 
Don  Ferrand  and  his  whole  army  into  the  town,  so  that  our 
people  were  seized  for  a  short  time,  but  dismissed  the  same 
day  by  the  Pope;  only  the  Cardinal  Ascanio,  vice-chancellor 
and  brother  to  the  Duke  of  Milan,  and  Prospero  Colonna, 
were  detained  (some  say  by  their  own  consent).  I  had  news 
of  all  this  immediately,  by  letters  from  the  king,  and  the 
Signory  of  Venice  had  a  more  ample  account  of  it  i'rom  their 
agents  ;  and  it  happened  before  the  king  got  into  Viterbo,  for 
he  never  stayed  above  two  days  in  any  place,  and  all  things 
succeeded  better  for  our  interest  than  we  could  have  expected 
or  hoped,  and  no  wonder,  for  God's  providence  appeared 
so  visibly  for  our  assistance,  that  nobody  could  deny  it. 

The  badness  of  the  weather  had  rendered  the  army  in 
Ostia  utterly  unserviceable.  But  you  must  understand  that  the 
forces  under  the  command  of  the  Lord  d'Aubigny  had  been 
marched  back,  and  he  himself  had  no  further  employment 
there.  The  Italians  were  likewise  dismissed,  who  had  been 
raised  in  Romagna,  and  brought  to  the  army  by  Count 
Rodolph  of  Mantua|,  the  Lord  Galeot  de  la  Mirandola§,  and 
Fracassej|,  brother  to  Galeas  di  St.  Severino;  who  were  well 
paid  by  the  king,  and  were  in  all  about  five  hundred  men. 
At  his  departure  from  Viterbo  the  king  advanced  toNaples^ 
of  which  the  Cardinal  Ascanio  was  then  governor.     And  it 

the  law-suits  which  arose  from  this  gift  will  be  found  in  the  "  Life  of 
Commines,"  prefixed  to  the  first  volume  of  this  edition  of  his  Memoirs.  . 

*  Jean  de  Gantry,  Lord  of  Persan.  apponted  Fourth  President  of  the 
Parliament  of  Paris  in  1490,  First  President  in  1505,  and  Chancellor  of 
France  in  1507.     He  died  at  Blois  in  1512. — Ansei.me,  vi.  442. 

f  Denis  Bidault,  notary  and  secretary  of  the  king,  was  appointed 
Receiver-General  of  the  Finances  in  1481,  and  President-Clerk  of  the 
Chamber  of  Accounts  in  Paris  in  1495  He  died  on  the  18th  of  June, 
1506. 

J  Rodolph,  son  of  Ludovic  HI.,  Duke  of  Mantua;  born  in  1451, 
Mid  killed  in  the  battle  of  Fornovo,  on  the  6th  of  July,  1495. 

§  Galeotto  Pic  de  la  Mirandola,  brother-in-law  of  Rodolph  of  Mantua. 

||  Gasparo,  surnamed  Fracasso  de  Sanseverino,  son  of  Robert  Count 
■vf  Cajazzo. 

|  Nepi,  or  Nepete,  a  small  town  about  twen  ty-six  miles  from  Rome,   i 


1495.]  CHARLES   VIII.    ENTERS   ROME.  149 

it  is  most  certain  that,  whilst  our  forces  were  in  Ostia, 
twenty  fathoms  of  the  wall  fell  down  at  Rome,  on  that  side 
where  we  designed  to  enter. 

The  Pope,  observing  this  young  prince  advance  so  briskly, 
and  with  such  unexpected  success,  consented  to  receive  him 
into  Rome  (and  to  speak  truth  he  could  not  help  it),  upon 
condition  he  would  give  safe  conduct  under  his  hand  and  seal 
to  Don  Ferrand,  Duke  of  Calabria,  and  only  son  to  Alphonso  ; 
but  Ferrand  marched  away  in  the  night  towards  Naples,  and 
the  Cardinal  Ascanio  conducted  him  to  the  very  gate.  The 
king  entered  Rome*  in  arms,  as  a  prince  who  had  authority 
to  do  what  he  pleased  wherever  he  came.  There  came  out  to 
meet  him  several  cardinals,  and  the  governors  and  senators 
of  the  town,  who  attended  him  to  his  lodgings  in  the  palace 
of  St.  Mark  (which  belonged  to  theColonne,  who  were  then 
his  servants  and  friends) ;  and  the  Pope  himself  retired  to 
his  castle  of  St.  Angelo. 


Ch.  XDT.— How  King  Alphonso  caused  his  Son  Ferrand  to  be  crowned 
King;  his  Flight  into  Sicily;  and  of  the  evil  Life  his  Father  (old  Fer- 
rand) and  he  had  led  during  their  Reigns. — 1495. 

Could  any  man  have  imagined  that  so  imperious  a  prince  as 
Alphonso,  inured  all  his  lifetime  to  wars,  and  his  son  and 
the  Ursini,  who  had  so  great  a  party  in  Rome,  should  have 
been  afraid  to  make  a  stand  there?  Especially  when  they 
perceived  the  Duke  of  Milan  and  the  Venetians  wavering, 
and  a  secret  alliance  on  foot,  which  would  certainly  have 
been  concluded,  had  any  resistance  been  made,  either  at  Vi- 
terbo  or  Rome,  that  might  have  stopped  the  progress  of  the 
king's  arms,  though  but  for  three  or  four  days.  But  God 
was  willing  to  demonstrate  to  the  world  that  all  these  things 
were  beyond  the  contrivance  and  comprehension  of  human 
wisdom  ;  and,  as  we  said  before,  that  above  twenty  fathoms 
of  the  city  wall  fell  down,  so  now  there  fell  down  above 
fifteen  fathoms  of  the  outer  wall  of  the  castle  of  St.  Angelo, 
6P  I  have  been  told  by  several  persons,  and  particularly  by 

•  Cku-let  VIII.  entered  Home  on  the  31st  of  December,  U94. 

i.  5 


150  THE    MEMOIRS    OF    PHILIP   DE    COMMINES.  [1495 

two  cardinals  who  were  there.     But  now  we  must  say  some* 
thing  of  King  Alphonso. 

As  soon  as  the  Duke  of  Calabria,  called  the  young  Fer- 
rand  (whom  we  have  already  often  mentioned),  was  re- 
turned to  Naples,  his  father,  King  Alphonso,  abdicated  the 
crown,  thinking  himself  unworthy  of  it  on  account  of  the 
mischiefs  and  cruelties  he  had  committed  against  several 
srinces  and  lords  who  had  trusted  to  his  and  his  father's 
honour,  causing  them  to  be  put  to  death  (to  the  number  of 
(<>ur-and-twenty),  after  the  decease  of  his  father,  who  had 
kept  them  alive  for  some  time  after  their  wars  against  him. 
Two  more  he  also  caused  to  be  executed,  who  had  surren- 
dered upon  his  father's  security  ;  one  was  the  Prince  of 
Rossano,  Duke  of  Sessa*,  a  person  of  great  authority.  This 
Prince  of  Rossano  had  married  King  Ferrand's  sister,  and 
bad  by  her  a  son  f  of  very  great  parts  and  understanding. 
To  make  sure  of  him,  he  had  been  married  to  a  daughter  of 
King  Ferrand  (for  the  Prince  of  Rossano  had  been  engaged 
in  a  most  abominable  treason  against  his  king,  and  had  de- 
served the  worst  punishment  that  could  have  been  inflicted, 
had  he  not  surrendered  himself  upon  assurance  of  a  pardon). 
As  soon  as  he  had  surrendered,  the  king  ordered  him  to  be 
closely  confined  in  a  stinking  prison,  where  he  continued  for 
the  space  of  four-and-twenty  years,  and  whither  his  son  was 
sent,  when  he  was  about  fifteen  or  sixteen  years  old,  to  bear 
him  company.  Alphonso,  immediately  upon  his  accession 
to  the  throne,  ordered  all  the  prisoners  to  be  removed  to  a 
small   island  not  far  from  Naples,  called  Ischia  (of  which 

*  Marino  de  Marzano,  Prince  of  Rossano,  and  Duke  of  Sessa,  who 
had  married  Eleanor,  a  natural  daughter  of  Alphonso  I.,  King  of  Naples, 
sided  with  John,  Duke  of  Anjou,  in  1459,  against  his  brother-in-law, 
Ferdinand  L,  whom  the  Duke  of  Anjou  was  striving  to  deprive  of  the 
crown  of  Naples.  He  was  declared  a  rebel  in  1460,  but  made  his  peace 
in  1462,  on  condition  that  his  son  should  marry  Ferdinand's  daughter. 
Regardless  of  his  oath,  however,  Ferdinand  imprisoned  Marino  in  the 
castle  of  Naples  in  1464;  and  after  twenty-two  years  captivity  he  was 
put  to  a  violent  death  in  1486. 

f  Giambattista  de  Marzano,  son  of  the  preceding,  was  born  in  1459, 
and  betrothed  to  Beatrice,  the  daughter  of  Ferdinand  I.,  in  1462;  but 
Ferdinand  broke  off  the  match,  and  married  his  daughter  to  Matthias 
King  of  Hungary.  In  1464  Marzano  was  sent  to  join  his  father  in 
prison,  and  remained  a  captive  until  the  arrival  of  Charles  VIII.  a! 
Naples  in  1495,  when  he  was  liberated  by  Ferdinand  II. 


1495.]       CHARACTER   OF    ALPIIONSO    AND    HIS    FATHER.  151 

vou  shall  hoar  further  hereafter),  and  put  all  of  them  to 
<leath  after  a  most  barbarous  and  inhuman  manner,  except 
Kossano's  son  and  the  noble  Count  of  Popoli*,  whom  he 
still  kept  prisoners  in  the  castle  of  Naples. 

I  inquired  very  carefully  how  they  were  so  cruelly  mur- 
dered (because  many  people  believed  them  alive  when  tin 
king  entered  Naples),  and  I  was  told  by  their  principal  ser- 
vants that  they  were  horribly  and  villanously  knocked  on 
the  head  by  a  Moor  of  Africa,  who,  immediately  after  their 
execution,  was  dispatched  into  Barbary,  that  no  notice  might 
be  taken  of  it.  I  was  informed  he  did  not  even  spare  those 
ancient  princes,  some  of  whom  had  been  kept  in  prison  for 
four  or  five-and-thirty  years.  Never  was  any  prince  more 
bloody,  wicked,  inhuman,  lascivious,  or  gluttonous  than  he. 
Yet  his  father  was  more  dangerous,  because  no  man  knew 
when  he  was  angry  or  pleased  ;  for  he  would  betray  men  in 
the  midst  of  his  entertainments  and  caresses,  as  he  betrayed 
Count  James  f,  whom  he  caused  on  a  sudden  to  be  appre- 
hended, and  put  to  a  horrible  death,  though  he  was  in  the 
quality  of  an  ambassador  at  his  court  from  Francis,  Duke  of 
Milan,  whose  natural  daughter  he  had  married ;  but  to  that 
barbarous  action  Francis  was  consenting,  for  they  were 
both  afraid  of  his  courage  and  interest  with  the  Bracci  J,  for 
he  was  son  to  Nicolo  Picinino.  §     In  the  same  manner  (as 

•  Pictro  Giovanni  Paolo  Cantelini,  Duke  of  Sora,  and  Count  of 
Popoli,  was  one  of  the  barons  who  revolted  from  Ferdinand  in  favour 
if  the:  Duke  of  Anjou,  and  was  forced  to  surrender  when  the  duke  aban- 
doned his  pretensions  to  the  kingdom  of  Naples.  According  to  some 
authorities,  lie  succeeded  in  making  his  escape,  and  baffling  the  vengeance 
of  Ferdinand. 

f  Jacopo  Piccinino,  a  celebrated  condottiere,  served  the  Duke  of 
Anjou  against  Ferdinand,  who  afterwards  appeared  to  have  forgotten 
the  offence,  for  lie  gave  him  the  command  of  the  armies  of  his  kingdom, 
and  the  principality  of  Sulmona,  and  other  estates.  After  his  marriage 
to  Drusiana,a  natural  daughter  of  Francesco  Sforza,  Ferdinand  invited 
Piccinino  to  return  to  Naples,  which  he  did,  in  the  capacity  of  an  am- 
bassador from  the  Duke  of  Milan.  Ferdinand  entertained  him  nobly 
for  twenty-seven  days,  at  the  end  of  which  he  ordered  him  to  be  arrested, 
thrown  into  a  dungeon,  and  put  to  death. — Sismondi,  x.  267. 

I  Braceeachi,  the  partisans  of  Braccio  de  Montone,  a  celebrated  con- 
doitiere  captain,  long  the  rival  in  renown  of  Sforza  Attcndolp. 

§  Niccolo  Piccinino  was  the  favourite  pupil  ot  Braccio,  and  succeeded 
to  the  command  of  his  party  at  his  death. 

I    4 


152  THE   MEMOIRS   OF   PIIILIP   DE   COMMINES.  [1495. 

report  goes)  he  served  several  others  ;  for  this  Ferrand  had 
nothing  of  tenderness  or  compassion  in  him,  as  I  have  beer* 
informed  by  his  nearest  friends  and  relations,  nor  was  he 
ever  known  to  take  the  least  pity  of  his  own  necessitous  sub- 
jects in  relation  to  their  taxes.  The  whole  trade  of  buying 
and  selling  he  engrossed  to  himself  all  through  his  kingdom. 
He  delivered  hogs  to  his  people  to  feed,  and  required  them 
to  make  them  fat,  that  they  might  fetch  a  good  price  ;  and  if 
any  of  them  chanced  to  die,  the  people  were  forced  to  pay  for 
them.  In  Apulia  and  other  countries  which  are  plentiful 
in  olives,  he  and  his  son  bought  up  all  the  oil,  almost  at 
their  own  price  ;  the  same  they  did  with  their  corn,  buying  it 
at  a  cheap  rate  hefore  it  was  ripe,  and  then  selling  it  again 
as  dear  as  they  could  ;  but  if  the  price  of  any  of  their  com- 
modities happened  to  fall  in  the  meantime,  they  obliged  the 
people  to  take  them  off  their  hands ;  and  whilst  they  were 
disposed  to  sell,  nobody  durst  buy  of  any  one  else. 

If  a  baron,  or  the  lord  of  any  country,  was  a  thrifty  man, 
and  saved  anything  out  of  his  revenue  by  management  and 
industry,  they  sent  presently  to  borrow  it,  and  the  owners 
were  forced  to  comply  with  their  unreasonable  demands. 
They  also  took  away  their  breed  of  horses  (of  which  in 
those  parts  there  are  several),  and  caused  them  to  be  managed 
and  trained  for  them  and  their  use ;  so  that  they  had  in 
horses,  mares,  and  colts  many  thousands,  which  they  sent  up 
and  down  the  kingdom  to  be  kept  for  them,  to  the  great  de- 
triment of  the  masters.  Both  father  and  son  had  ravished 
several  women  ;  they  made  no  conscience  of  sacrilege,  nor 
did  they  retain  the  least  respect  or  obedience  for  the  church. 
They  sold  their  bishopries,  as  that  of  Tarento,  which 
the  father  sold  for  thirteen  thousand  ducats  to  a  Jew  for 
his  son,  who  the  Jew  pretended  was  a  Christian.  He 
gave  abbeys  to  falconers  and  others  for  their  children,  tel- 
ling them,  "  You  shall  keep  me  so  many  hawks,  and  mew 
them,  and  keep  me  such  a  number  of  soldiers  at  your  ex- 
pense." The  son  never  kept  Lent  in  his  life,  nor  so  much 
as  pretended  to  do  it ;  and  for  many  years  he  never  was  at 
confession,  nor  ever  received  the  Sacrament  of  the  Lord's 
Supper.  In  short,  it  is  scarce  possible  that  any  prince  could 
be  guilty  of  greater  villanies  than  they  were.  Some  will 
have  the  young  Ferrand  to  be  the  worst  of  the  two ;  though 


1495.]        ON  THE  PROVIDENCE  OP  GOD  153 

at  his  death  he  grew  humble  and  civil,  but  then  indeed  he 
was  in  distress. 


Ch.  XIV.— How  King  Alphonso  fled  into  Castile,  and  did  Penance.— 

1495. 

Periiaps  the  reader  may  think  that  what  I  have  written  of 
these  two  princes  proceeds  from  some  particular  pique  against 
them  ;  but  upon  my  conscience  that  is  not  the  motive  that 
induces  me  to  do  it ;  for  I  have  given  you  this  history  of  their 
lives,  only  to  continue  my  Memoirs,  in  the  beginning  of 
which  I  freely  declared  my  opinion  that  I  thought  it  im- 
possible for  those  who  had  the  management  of  our  affairs  to 
have  carried  on  this  expedition  so  prosperously,  had  not 
God  himself  undertaken  to  conduct  it  for  our  young  king, 
whom  he  supplied  with  provisions  in  the  extremity  of  his 
wants,  that  he  might  make  him  his  instrument  to  scourge 
and  chastise  these  Italian  princes,  who  were  wise,  rich,  pow- 
erful, and  experienced  in  the  affairs  of  the  world  ;  had  wise 
and  able  ministers  to  defend  and  take  care  of  their  dominions, 
and  were  supported  by  powerful  alliances;  and,  though  they 
beheld  the  storm  afar  off,  yet  had  they  not  courage  or  wis- 
dom enough  at  that  time  either  to  resist  or  avoid  it.  For, 
except  the  castle  of  Naples,  there  was  not  one  place  which 
stopped  the  progress  of  the  king's  arms  lor  a  day,  which 
occasioned  Pope  Alexander  VI.  to  say  that  the  French  came 
into  Naples  with  wooden  spurs,  and  chalk  in  their  harbin- 
gers' hands  to  mark  out  their  lodgings,  which  they  took  up 
without  any  more  trouble.  The  wooden  spurs  he  mentioned 
because  it  was  the  custom  at  that  time,  when  young  gentle- 
men rode  about  the  streets,  for  their  pages  to  put  a  sharp 
piece  of  wood  into  the  heels  of  their  shoes,  with  which  they 
pricked  their  mules  forward.  In  short,  this  expedition  into 
Italy  was  performed  with  so  much  ease,  and  so  little  re- 
sistance, that  our  soldiers  scarce  ever  put  on  their  armour 
during  the  whole  expedition,  and  the  king  marched  with  his 
army  from  Asti  to  Naples  in  four  months  and  nineteen  days; 


lot  THE    MEMOIRS   OK    PHILIP   DF    COMMIXES.         [1495. 

mi  ambassador  with  his  retinue  could  hardly  have  got  thither 
sooner. 

I  conclude,  therefore,  with  several  pious  and  religious 
men,  and  the  general  voice  of  the  people  (which  is  the 
voice  of  God),  that  God  intended  to  make  an  example  of 
these  princes,  that  by  their  chastisement  others  might  be 
excited  to  conform  their  lives  according  to  his  command- 
ments. For  these  princes  of  Arragon  lost  their  honour, 
their  kingdom,  and  their  treasure,  besides  their  rich  fur- 
niture of  all  sorts,  which  has  been  so  strangely  dispersed,  it 
is  hardly  to  be  known  what  is  become  of  it ;  and,  finally, 
they  died  themselves,  three  in  one  year*,  or  a  little  more; 
but  I  hope  their  souls  are  in  paradise.  For  King  Ferrand, 
who  was  natural  son  to  Alphonso  the  Great  t  (a  wise,  good, 
and  honourable  prince),  was  highly  concerned  to  see  his 
kingdoms  invaded  with  such  a  powerful  army,  and  to  find 
himself  not  in  a  condition  to  oppose  it.  He  was  also  sen- 
sible of  the  notoriously  bad  lives  that  he  and  his  son  had 
led,  and  that  they  had  become  odious  to  the  people.  And 
besides,  in  the  pulling  down  of  a  chapel  (as  I  have  been 
assured  by  several  of  his  nearest  relations),  there  was  a 
book  found  with  this  title,  Truth,  with  its  secret  Counsel-%, 
in  which  (it  is  said)  was  contained  a  full  prophecy  of  his 
misfortunes ;  but  there  were  only  three  persons  who  had  a 
sight  of  it,  for  as  soon  as  he  had  read  it,  he  committed  it  to 
the  flames. 

Another  thing  that  troubled  him  was,  that  neither  his 
son  Alphonso,  nor  his  grandson  Ferdinand,  could  be  per- 
suaded of  the  king's  coming  into  Italy;  but  they  talked 
arrogantly  and  contemptuously  of  him,  hectoring  and  threat- 
ening that  they  would  go  as  far  as  the  mountains  to  meet 
him.  But  some  were  so  wise  as  to  make  it  their  solemn 
petition  to  God  Almighty  that  a  king  of  France  might 
never  come  into  Italy  ;  for  they  had  only  seen  a  poor  in- 
digent prince  of  the  family  of  Anjou,  who  had  troubled  all 

*  Ferdinand  I.  died  in  1494;  Alphonso  II.  in  1495;  and  Ferdinand  IL 
in  1496.     See  previous  notes. 

f  Alphonso  V.,  surnamed  the  Wise,  King  of  Arragon,  who  inherited 
the  throne  of  Naples  from  Queen  Joanna  in  1420,  and  left  it  to  his  bas- 
tard son. 

X  Lenglet  says  it  was  a  book  written  by  St.  Cotade,  Bishop  of  Ta» 
r&itum. 


1495.]  ABDICATION   AND   FL13HT   OF   ALPHONSO.  loa 

Italy  before  it  could  get  rid  of  him,  namely,  Duke  John, 
King  Rene's  son.  Ferrand  laboured  hard,  by  means  of  bis 
ambassador  Camillo  Pandone*,  to  stop  the  king's  expedition 
into  Italy  before  he  left  France,  offering  him  a  tribute  of 
fifty  thousand  ducats  a  year,  and  to  do  him  homage  for  his 
kingdom.  But  finding  he  could  neither  purchase  his  peace 
with  the  King  of  France,  nor  compose  the  differences  of  the 
city  of  Milan,  he  fell  sick,  confessed  his  sins,  and  diedf,  and, 
I  hope,  repented  of  his  wickedness.  His  son  Alphonso,  who 
was  so  cruel  and  terrible,  and  in  such  reputation  for  his 
experience  in  military  affairs  before  the  King  of  France's 
departure  from  Rome,  renounced  the  crown,  and  was  seized 
with  such  a  panic  fear,  that  in  the  night  he  would  cry  out 
he  heard  the  French,  and  that  the  stones  and  trees  shouted, 
"  France,  France."  Nor  durst  he  ever  stir  boldly  out  of 
Naples ;  but  upon  his  son's  return  from  Rome  he  resigned 
the  government  of  his  kingdom  to  him,  and  caused  him  to 
be  crowned,  and  carried  on  horseback  through  the  streets  of 
Naples,  attended  by  the  chief  persons  of  the  city,  to  wit,  his 
brother  Don  Frederic,  and  the  Cardinal  of  Genoa  (between 
whom  the  new  king  rode),  and  all  the  foreign  ambassadors 
that  were  there;  and  after  all  this  pomp  and  solemnity  was 
performed,  Alphonso  himself  fled  into  Sicily,  and  took  with 
him  the  queen  his  mother-in-law  J  (sister  to  Ferrand,  King  of 
Castile,  who  is  now  reigning,  and  heir  to  the  kingdom  of 
Sicily),  to  a  place  §  where  she  had  a  strong  garrison. 

This  was  looked  upon  as  a  very  surprising  turn  of  affairs 
all  over  Europe,  but  especially  at  Venice,  where  I  was  then 
as  the  king's  ambassador.  Some  said  he  had  retired  to  the 
Turkish  court,  others  that  his  resignation  was  only  in  favour 
of  his  son,  who  was  less  odious  to  the  people ;  but  I  was 
always  of  opinion  it  proceeded  from  nothing  but  real 
cowardice ;   for  no  person  that  was  cruel  was   ever  cou- 

*  Camillo  Pandone,  Viceroy  of  Apulia  during  the  reign  of  Ferdi- 
nand EL;  killed  in  an  encounter  with  the  French  in  1495. 

t  On  the  25th  of  January,  1494. 

J  Joanna,  daughter  of  John  II.,  King  of  Arragon,  was  married  to 
Ferdinand  I.,  King  of  Naples,  in  1476,  and  died  on  the  9th  of  January, 
1517. 

Mazzara,  a  large  town  on  ths  sea-coast  in  the  province  of  Trapani 
— Li  vazzo,  80. 


136  TUB    MEMOIRS    OF    PHIUP    DE    COMMINES.  [149.5. 

rageous,  as  all  histories  inform  us ;  for  so  Nero  and  several 
other  tyrants  perished  in  despair.  In  short,  Alphonso  was 
in  so  great  a  consternation,  that  (as  I  was  informed  by  some 
who  were  about  him)  lie  told  his  mother-in-law,  on  the  very 
day  of  their  departure,  that  if  she  would  not  go  he  would 
leave  her  behind ;  and  when  she  entreated  him  to  put  oflf 
his  departure  for  three  days  longer,  that  it  might  be  said 
she  had  been  a  whole  year  in  his  kingdom,  he  replied  that, 
rather  than  not  go  then,  he  would  throw  himself  out  of  the 
window ;  "  For  do  not  you  hear  (saith  he),  how  everybody 
cries  out,  '  France,  France  ?'  "  Upon  which  they  immediately 
went  on  board  their  galleys.  He  took  along  with  him  ail 
sorts  of  wines  (which  he  loved  above  all  things),  and  seeds 
for  his  gardens,  without  taking  any  care  of  his  property  or 
furniture,  which  was  left  mostly  in  the  castle  of  Naples ; 
some  jewels  and  a  little  money  he  carried  with  him  besides, 
and  away  they  sailed  for  Sicily,  to  the  place  above  men- 
tioned ;  and  from  thence  to  Messina,  where  he  sent  for  and 
carried  along  with  him  certain  monks,  to  whom  he  pretended 
and  swore  he  would  have  no  further  conversation  with  the 
world.  Among  the  rest,  he  took  a  particular  fancy  to  the 
monks  of  Mount  Olivet,  whose  habit  is  white  (as  they  told 
me  at  Venice,  where  the  body  of  St.  Helena  is  deposited  in 
their  monastery),  and  with  them  he  lived  a  most  strict  and 
austere  life,  serving  God  at  all  hours  both  of  the  day  and 
night,  as  the  monks  did  in  their  convents,  spending  his  time 
in  prayers,  fasting,  and  alms  ;  by  which  austerity  and  severe 
way  of  living  he  contracted  a  sad  distemper  of  excoriation 
and  gravel;  and  the  monks  told  me  they  never  saw  any 
man  suffer  greater  misery,  and  yet  he  endured  it  with 
abundance  of  patience,  having  resolved  to  spend  the  re- 
mainder of  his  days  in  a  monastery  at  Valentia,  and  to  take 
upon  him  the  monkish  habit ;  but  he  was  surprised  with  a 
violent  illness,  and  died  in  a  short  time  after.  If  we  may 
judge  from  the  greatness  of  his  penitence,  we  may  conclude 
his  soul  is  glorious  in  paradise.  His  son  outlived  him  not 
long,  for  he  died  of  a  fever  and  a  flux,  and  I  hope  they  are 
better  where  they  are,  than  they  were  in  this  world.  To 
conclude,  in  less  than  two  years'  time  there  were  five  kinga 
crowned  in  Naples;    the  three  I  have  mentioned   befure, 


1495.]  FERRAND  THE  YOUNGER  ENCAMPS  AT  ST.  GERMAIN.  157 

Charles  VIII.  of  France,  and  Don  Frederic*,  Alphonso's 
brother,  who  now  reigns. 


Ch.  XV.— How,  after  Ferrand  the  Yonnger  was  crowned  King  of  Naples 
he  encamped  with  his  Forces  at  St.  Germain,  in  order  to  oppose  King 
Charles;  and  of  the  Agreement  King  Charles  made  with  the  Pope 
during  his  stay  at  Rome. — 1495. 

Now  for  the  better  understanding  of  all  these  affairs,  you 
must  know  that  King  Ferrand,  after  his  coronation  was 
over,  became  a  new  man,  supposing  all  the  odium  and  re- 
sentment of  past  injuries  were  buried  in  oblivion  upon  his 
lather's  abdicating  the  throne.  He  assembled  all  tiie  forces 
lie  could  raise,  both  of  horse  and  foot,  and  marched  with 
them  to  St.  Germain  f,  which  is  a  strong  place,  and  easy  to 
defend  (though  the  French  passed  it  twice),  upon  the  fron- 
tiers of  his  kingdom.  Having  encamped  there,  and  put  a 
strong  garrison,  with  all  manner  of  provisions,  into  the 
town,  his  friends  began  to  take  heart.  The  town  is  defended 
in  two  ways,  by  a  small  river|  that  is  fordable  sometimes, 
and  by  a  great  mountain  which  seems  to  hang  over  it. 

The  king  in  the  meantime  was  at  Rome,  and  continued 
there  about  twenty  days,  during  which  time  several  affairs 
of  importance  were  transacted.  There  were  with  him  about 
eighteen  cardinals,  and  others  from  various  parts ;  among 
whom  there  were  the  Lord  Ascanio,  vice-chancellor  and 
brother  to  the  Duke  of  Milan,  and  the  Cardinal  of  St.  Peter 
ad  Vincula  (great  foes  to  one  another,  but  mortal  enemies  to 
the  Pope),  the  Cardinals  of  Gurce  §,  St.  Dennis  ||,  St.  Seve- 

*  He  was  crowned  King  of  Naples  in  1495.  He  reigned  but  six  or 
seven  years  before  he  was  dethroned ;  after  which  he  retired  into  France, 
Where  he  died. 

f  San  Germano,  fifteen  miles  from  the  frontier  of  Naples. 

J  The  Garigliano. 

§  Kaimond  Perauld,  a  native  of  Surgeres  in  Saintonge,  became  suc- 
cessively Bishop  of  Saintes,  and  Bishop  of  Gurce,  in  Germany;  he  was 
made  a  cardinal  by  Pope  Alexander  VI.  in  1494,  and  died  at  Viterbo 
on  the  5th  of  November,  1505. — Auberv,  ii.  629. 

||  Jean  de  Vilhercs,  Bishop  of  Lombez,  and  Abbot  of  St.  Denis,  waa 
created  a  cardinal  iu  1491*,  and  died  on  the  6th  of  August,  1499.— 
DH3CAUSSET,  145. 


15H  THE    MEMOIRS   OF   PHILIP   DE   COMBINES.         f  1  l(J5. 

rino*,  Savellyj",  Colonna,  and  others;  all  of  them  earnest 
for  a  new  election,  and  that  the  Pope  might  be  deposed,  who 
was  then  in  his  castle.  Twice  our  great  guns  were  made 
ready  to  fire  (as  I  have  been  told  by  several  persons  of 
quality);  but  both  times  the  king  in  his  mercy  opposed  it. 
The  place  is  not  defensible,  being  built  upon  a  small  hill, 
and  that  merely  artificial.  It  was  alleged  that  the  walls 
had  fallen  down  by  miracle,  and  they  charged  his  Holiness 
with  having  given  money  for  the  papacy,  and  they  said  the 
truth;  but  Cardinal  Ascanio  was  the  principal  merchant,  for 
it  was  he  that  drove  the  bargain  and  received  most  of  the 
money,  besides  the  house  in  which  the  Pope  lived  when  he 
was  vice-chancellor,  with  all  the  rich  furniture,  and  his  vice- 
chancellorship,  and  several  other  places  of  St.  Peter's  patri- 
mony besides  ;  for  they  two  were  competitors  for  the  pope- 
dom. However,  I  am  of  opinion  they  would  both  have 
consented  to  a  new  election  at  the  kind's  pleasure,  though  it 
had  been  to  choose  a  Frenchman.  I  will  not  pretend  to  say 
whether  the  king  acted  well  or  ill,  but  I  think  his  best  way 
was  to  compose  matters  amicably,  as  he  did ;  for  he  was  a 
young  man,  and  incapable  of  performing  so  important  a 
work  as  the  reformation  of  the  Church,  though,  perhaps,  his 
strength  might  have  been  sufficient.  Could  he  have  under- 
taken and  gone  through  with  it,  I  question  not  but  all  men 
of  wisdom  and  reason  would  have  acknowledged  it  to  have 
bee;  a  good,  great,  and  holy  work  ;  but  great  mystery  would 
havt  been  necessary.  However,  the  king's  intentions  were 
good,  and  are  so  still,  if  he  were  vigorously  assisted. 

The  king  took  another  course,  and  came  to  an  accommo- 
dation |  with  the  Pope,  which  could  not  possibly  last  long, 
for  it  was  too  violent  in  some  points,  and  there  was  great 
talk  of  making  an  alliance,  of  which  we  shall  speak  more 
hereafter.  By  this  agreement  there  was  to  be  peace 
between  the  Pope  and  his  cardinals;  and  the  said  cardinals 

*  Federigo  de  Sanseverino,  fourth  son  of  Robert  Count  of  Cajazzo, 
was  made  a  cardinal  in  1489,  and  died  on  the  7th  of  August,  1516. — 
Aubery,  ii.  600. 

f  Giambattista  Savelli,  a  noble  Roman,  was  made  a  cardinal  on  the 
15th  of  May,  1480,  and  died  on  the  18th  of  September,  1498. — Aubery, 
ii  518. 

X  Dated  on  the  15th  of  January,  1495. 


1495.]  THE   KING   LEAVES    ROME   FOR   NATLES.  159 

were  to  receive  all  the  rights  and  perquisites  belonging  to 
their  dignities,  as  well  absent  as  present;  and  the  Pope  was 
to  deliver  four  towns  to  the  king,  Terracina,  Civita  Vecchia, 
Viterbo  (which  was  in  his  hands  already),  and  Spoleto  ;  but 
this  last  he  never  delivered,  notwithstanding  his  promise. 
All  these  towns  were  to  be  restored  to  the  Pope  upon  the 
king's  return  out  of  Naples,  which  was  performed  on  the 
king's  part,  though  the  Pope  had  not  dealt  fairly  with  him. 
By  this  agreement  he  also  delivered  the  Grand  Seignior's 
brother*  to  the  king,  for  whom  he  received  constantly 
every  year  of  the  Great  Turk  forty-five  thousand  ducats, 
for  he  was  greatly  afraid  of  him.  He  further  promised  not 
to  put  a  legate  into  any  place  under  the  jurisdiction  of  the 
Church  without  the  king's  approbation.  There  were  other 
articles  relating  to  the  consistory,  for  which  and  the  rest, 
his  son  the  cardinal  of  Yalentia  f  was  given  in  hostage,  who 
attended  the  king  instead  of  a  legate.  The  king  on  his  part 
did  his  filial  obedience  with  all  imaginable  humility,  and  the 
Pope  created  two  cardinals  at  his  request ;  one  was  Monsieur 
Brissonet,  who  had  before  been  made  Bishop  of  St.  Malo ; 
the  other  was  the  Bishop  of  Mans  J,  of  the  house  of  Luxem- 
bourg, and  then  resident  in  France. 


Ch.  XVI. — How  the  King  departed  from  Rome  to  Naples;  of  the 
Transactions  in  that  Kingdom  in  the  Meantime;  and  an  Account  oi 
the  Places  the  King  of  France  passed  through  in  his  March. — 1495. 

Matters  being   adjusted  after  this   manner,  the   king   'eft 
Rome§  seemingly  in  great  friendship   with   the  Pope,  hut 

*  Ziz'm.     See  note,  p.  67.  of  this  volume. 

f  Ccesar  Borgia,  a  natural  son  of  Pope  Alexander  VI.,  was  created  a 
cardinal  on  the  20th  of  September,  1493.  He  resigned  his  hat  in  1498, 
in  the  hope  of  making  a  great  marriage;  and  received  the  titles  of 
Duke  of  Komagna  in  Italy,  and  Valentinois  in  France.  He  died  on 
tiie  12th  of  March,  1507,  having  crowded  into  a  comparatively  short  lrt'e 
til  the  worst  crimes  of  which  human  nature  is  capable. 

£  Philippe  de  Luxembourg,  Bishop  of  Terouenne  and  Mans,  w&a 
treated  a  cardinal  on  the  27th  of  January,  1497,  and  iied  on  the  2ud 
of  June,  1519. 

§  On  the  28th  of  January,  1495. 


160  THK   MKMOIRS    OF   PIULIP   DE    COMM1NES.         [1495. 

eight  cardinals  left  the  town  in  a  rage,  of  whom  six  were 
partisans  of  the  vice-chancellor  and  the  cardinal  of  St.  Peter 
ad  Vincula,  though  it  was  supposed  this  was  only  a  feint 
of  Ascanio's,  and  that  at  bottom  he  was  agreed  with  the 
Pope  ;  but  his  brother  *  had  not  then  declared  himself  our 
enemy.  The  king  marched  with  his  army  to  Genzano,  and 
from  thence  to  Velitri,  where  the  Cardinal  of  Valentia  gave 
him  the  slip. 

The  next  morning  the  king  took  Monte-fortino  by  storm, 
and  put  the  garrison  to  the  sword.  The  place  belonged  to 
James  Visconti,  who  had  entered  into  the  king's  service, 
and  afterwards  deserted  him ;  for  the  Visconti  are  of  the 
faction  of  the  Ursini.  From  thence  the  king  marched  to 
Valmontone,  which  belonged  to  the  Colonne,  and  thence  ad- 
vanced to  within  four  miles  of  Mount  St.  John,  a  stronar 
place,  which  he  battered  seven  or  eight  hours  with  his  heavy 
cannon,  and  then  took  it  by  storm  t,  and  put  all  or  nearly 
all  the  garrison  to  the  sword.  It  was  church  land,  and  be- 
longed to  the  Marquis  diPescara^;  and  there  our  whole 
army  joined.  From  thence  the  king  marched  about  sixteen 
miles  to  St.  Germain,  where  the  new  King  Ferrand  was  en- 
camped, as  I  said  before,  with  all  the  forces  he  was  able  to 
assemble.  There  was  now  no  remedy  ;  this  was  the  place  for 
Jiim  to  fight  in  or  not  at  all,  for  it  was  the  entrance  into  his 
kingdom,  and  he  was  advantageously  posted,  both  in  respect 
of  the  river  and  the  mountain.  He  had  also  sent  a  strong 
detachment  to  secure  the  pass  at  Cancello,  which  is  in  the 
mountains,  about  six  miles  from  St.  Germain ;  but  before 
the  king's  approach,  Ferrand  retired  with  great  precipita- 
tion, and  abandoned  both  the  town  and  the  pass.  Monsieur 
de  Guise  §  commanded  the  van  that  day,  and  the  Lord  de 
Rieux  |]  was  ordered  to  take  the  pass  at  Cancello,  which  the 

*  The  Duke  of  Milan. 

•f  On  the  11th  of  February,  1495. 

\  Alfonso  de  Avalos,  Marquis  of  Pescara,  and  Lord  Chamberlain  to 
Ferdinand  L,  King  of  Naples. 

§  Louis  D'Armagnac,  Duke  of  Nemours  and  Count  of  Guise,  after- 
wards appointed  Viceroy  of  Naples ;  killed  in  the  battle  of  Cerignola,  • 
on  the  28th  of  April,  1503. — Anselme,  iii.  429. 

||  John,  Lori  of  Eieux  and  Eochefort,  Count  of  Harcourt,  and  Mar- 
shal of  Bretagne,  born  on  the  27th  of  June,  1447,  and  died  on  the  9th 
of  February,  1518. 


1 495.  J     THE  KING  OF  FRANCE  ENTERS  NAPLES.       161 

Arragonians  ought  to  have  defended  ;  but  they  also  abandoned 
their  post,  so  that  the  king  entered  St.  Germain  *  without 
any  resistance.  King  Ferrand  retreated  to  Capua,  where 
they  received  him  and  some  few  of  his  retinue,  but  refused 
to  admit  his  whole  army.  He  made  no  long  stay  among 
them  at  that  time,  but  only  entreated  them  to  continue  faith- 
ful to  him,  promising  to  return  the  next  day  ;  and  away  he 
posted  to  Naples,  suspecting  the  rebellion  which  afterwards 
happened  there.  The  greater  part  of  his  army  he  left  be- 
hind, and  commanded  them  to  attend  him  at  Capua;  but 
when  he  came  back  the  next  day  they  were  all  fled.  Virgil 
Ursini,  and  his  cousin  the  Count  dePettilane,  went  to  Nola, 
where  they  and  their  party  were  taken  by  our  men.  They 
affirmed  that  they  had  a  safe-conduct,  and  that  we  did  them 
wrong  ;  and  it  was  true  enough,  but  their  passport  had  not 
y<t  come  to  their  hands ;  however,  they  paid  nothing  for 
their  ransom,  only  they  were  plundered,  and,  to  speak  the 
truth,  their  loss  was  very  considerable. 

From  St.  Germain  the  king  marched  to  Mignano  and 
Teano,  and  encamped  at  Calvi,  two  miles  from  Capua,  where 
the  inhabitants  of  that  city  came  to  treat  with  him,  and  the 
king  entered  it  with  his  whole  army.f  From  Capua  he 
marched  the  next  day  to  Aversa,  midway  between  Capua 
and  Naples,  about  five  miles  distant  from  l^oth.  The  chief 
of  the  Neapolitans  waited  on  his  majesty  there,  and  they 
came  to  an  accommodation,  by  which  their  ancient  liberties 
and  privileges  were  secured  to  them.  The  king  sent  thither 
before  him  the  Marshal  de  Gie,  the  Seneschal  of  Beaucaire, 
tlie  President  Gannay,  who  kept  the  seals,  and  his  secretaries. 
King  Ferrand,  finding  how  matters  went,  and  seeing  the 
people  and  nobility  in  arms  against  him,  and  his  great  stables 
plundered  before  his  face,  got  immediately  aboard  a  galley, 
and  made  the  best  of  his  way  to  Ischia,  which  is  a  small 
inland  about  eighteen  miles  from  Naples.  And  the  King  of 
France  was  received  into  the  city  of  Naples  with  great 
.solemnity  and  joy^;  all  the  people  came  out  to  meet  him, 
and  those  who  were  under  the  greatest  obligation  to  the 
house  of  Arragon  came  first,  as  particularly  the  family  of 

*  On  the  14th  of  February,  149&. 
t  On  the  19th  of  February,  1495. 
j  On  Sunday,  the  22nd  of  February,  1495. 

vot„  n.  v 


162  THE    MEMOIRS    OF    PHILIP    DE    COMMINES.         [1495. 

the  Caraffi,  who  had  at  that  time  from  the  house  of  .Arragon 
above  forty  thousand  ducats  a  year,  in  lands  and  employ- 
ments;  for  the  king3  in  that  country  can  dispose  of  their 
own  demesnes,  as  well  as  other  people's  ;  and  I  am  of  opinion 
there  are  not  three  considerable  estates  in  the  whole  king- 
dom which  are  not  held  of  the  crown  or  other  persons. 

Never  people  expressed  so  great  zeal  and  affection  to  any 
king  or  nation  as  they  did  to  ours ;  for  they  supposed  them- 
selves delivered  from  all  tyranny,  so  that  everywhere  they 
willingly  submitted  to  us.  The  whole  country  of  Calabria 
yielded,  and  the  Lord  d'Aubigny  and  Peron  de  Basche  were 
sent  to  command  them,  without  any  forces  of  their  own. 
The  Abruzzi  revolted  of  their  own  accord,  and  the  town  of 
Aquila,  which  was  always  in  the  French  interest,  set  them 
an  example.  In  Apulia  they  did  the  same,  all  but  the 
castle  of  Brindisi,  which  is  strong  and  well- manned,  and 
the  town  of  Gallipoli,  which  had  also  a  strong  garrison 
in  it,  or  else  the  inhabitants  would  have  revolted.  In 
Calabria  there  were  three  places  which  held  out  for  King 
Ferrand ;  two  of  them  were  Amantea  and  Tropea,  anciently 
devoted  to  the  house  of  Anjou,  and  they  at  first  set  up  the 
arms  of  France  ;  but,  because  the  king  had  given  them  to 
Monsieur  de  Persi*,  and  would  not  make  them  part  of  his 
own  demesnes,  they  pulled  down  his  arms,  and  erected  the 
banners  of  Arragon.  The  third  place  was  the  castle  of 
Reggio,  which  continued  firm  to  the  house  of  Arragon  ;  but 
all  that  stood  out  did  so  for  want  of  being  summoned  to 
surrender;  for  there  was  not  a  sufficient  body  of  troops  sent 
into  Apulia  and  Calabria  to  have  kept  one  castle  for  the 
king.  Tarento  voluntarily  surrendered  both  castle  and 
town,  and  so  did  Otranto,  Monopoli,  Trani,  Manfredonia, 
Barletta,  and  all  but  those  places  which  I  excepted  before. 
They  came  three  days'  journey  to  meet  our  army,  and 
hedged  of  us  to  receive  their  respective  cities  into  our  pro- 
tection. They  sent  likewise  all  of  them  to  Naples,  and  all 
the  princes  and  great  lords  of  the  kingdom  came  thither  to 
do  homage  to  our  king,  except  the  Marquis  de  Pescara,  but 
his  brothers  and  nephews  came.      The  Count  d'Acri  and 

*  Francois  d'Alegre,  Count  of  Joigny,  Baron  of  Viteaux,  and  Lord 
of  Precy,  was  Grand  Master  of  the  Woods  and  Forests  of  Fiance  in 
1495. 


1495.]  KING    FERRAND   SAILS   TO   SICILY.  163 

the  Marquis  de  Squillazzo  fled  into  Sicily,  because  our  king 
had  given  their  estates  to  the  Lord  d'Aubigny.  There  also 
arrived  at  Naples  the  Prince  of  Salerno,  newly  come  from 
sea;  but  he  had  done  nothing  considerable.  His  cousin,  the 
Prince  of  Bisignano,  was  there  also  with  his  brothers,  and 
the  Dukes  of  Melfi  *  and  Gravina  "j",  and  the  old  Duke  of 
Sora,  who  heretofore  had  sold  his  duchy  to  the  Cardinal  of 
St.  Peter  ad  Vincula,  whose  brother  J  enjoys  it  at  this 
day.  The  Counts  of  Monterio,  Fondi,  Tripalda,  and  Celano 
(which  last  had  been  banished  a  long  time,  and  was  re- 
turned with  the  king)  came  also  to  Naples.  The  Count  de 
Troye,  a  young  Scottish  gentleman,  but  educated  in  France, 
was  there  also,  and  the  Count  de  Popoli,  whom  we  found 
prisoner  in  Naples.  The  young  Prince  of  Rossano,  who,  as 
I  said  before,  was  long  a  prisoner  with  his  father,  who  had 
been  confined  thirty-four  years,  was  released,  and  accom- 
panied King  Ferrand  to  Ischia.  There  came  also  to  Naples 
the  Marquis  de  Venafro,  all  the  Caldoresques  §,  the  Count 
de  Matalon,  and  the  Count  de  Merillano,  whose  predecessors 
had  always  governed  the  house  of  Arragon ;  and,  in  short, 
all  the  nobility  of  that  kingdom,  except  the  three  persons 
whom  I  mentioned  before. 


Ch.  XVII. —  How  King  Charles  was  crowned  King  of  Naples;  tho 
Errors  he  committed  in  his  Government  of  that  Kingdom;  and  of  the 
Discovery  of  a  Design  in  his  Favour  against  the  Turks  by  the  Vene- 
tians.—1495. 

King  Ferrand,  when  he  fled  from  Naples,  left  the  Mar- 
quis of  Pescara  and  some  Germans  in  the  castle,  and  sailed 
himself  into  Sicily  to  demand  succour  of  his  father.       Don 

*  Trojanus  Carracciolo,  in  whose  favour  the  dukedom  of  Melfi  was 
erected  into  a  principality. 

f  Francesco  Orsini,  Duke  of  Gravina,  strangled,  by  order  of  Caesar 
Borgia,  on  the  18th  of  January,  1503. — Sismondi,  xiii.  182. 

J  Giovanni  della  Kovere,  Duke  of   Sora  and  Acri,  and  F:efcct  of 
Rome,  died  in  1501. 

§  The  Caldoresehi,  or  members  of  the  Caldora  family. 

u  . 


164  THE    MEMOIRS    OF    PHILIP    DE    COMMIXES.  [1495. 

Frederic  still  kept  at  sea  with  some  few  galleys,  and  came 
twice  (with  a  passport)  to  treat  with  our  king.  His  de- 
mands were,  that  some  part  of  the  kingdom  should  be 
left  to  his  nephew,  with  the  title  of  king  ;  and  that  he 
ehould  himself  enjoy  all  the  lands  which  belonged  to  him  and 
his  wife.  His  request  was  not  unreasonable,  for  his  own 
estate  was  but  small :  the  king  offered  to  give  both  him  and 
his  nephew  an  equivalent  in  France  ;  and  I  am  of  opinion  his 
majesty  would  have  given  them  some  considerable  duchy,  but 
they  did  not  think  fit  to  accept  it ;  besides,  there  was  no 
trusting  them  in  the  kingdom  of  Naples ;  for  they  would 
have  observed  no  articles  of  agreement  any  longer  than  it 
had  been  for  their  advantage.  So  we  erected  our  batteries 
against  the  castle  of  Naples,  and  began  to  fire  upon  it.  The 
Marquis  de  Pescara  was  gone  out  of  it,  and  there  were  only 
A  few  Germans  in  it.  Had  we  sent  but  four  of  our  great 
guns  into  the  island,  we  had  certainly  carried  it ;  but  from 
thenceforward  our  misfortunes  returned.  For  all  the  rest  of 
the  towns  (which  were  not  above  four  or  five)  would  have 
fallen  into  our  hands  of  course;  but  we  spent  our  time  in 
gaiety,  entertainments,  dancing,  and  tournaments,  and  grew  so 
insolent  and  vain,  we  scarce  considered  the  Italians  to  be 
men.  Our  king  was  crowned,  and  had  his  lodgings  in  the 
castle  of  Capoana,  and  sometimes  went  to  Mont-Imperial  *  : 
to  the  subjects  of  that  kingdom  he  did  many  good  acts,  and 
abated  their  taxes ;  so  that  I  believe  the  people  would 
never  have  rebelled  of  themselves  (though  they  are  natu- 
rally inconstant),  had  we  but  obliged  some  few  of  the  no- 
bility; but  they  were  slighted,  and  treated  uncivilly  at  the 
very  gates.  Those  of  the  house  of  Caraffa  (though  friends 
to  the  house  of  Arragon)  were  used  the  best ;  yet  they 
escaped  not  quite  without  loss.  Every  one  else  was  de- 
prived of  his  offices  and  estate;  and  the  partisans  of  the 
house  of  Anjou  fared  a  great  deal  worse  than  the  friends  of 
Arragon.  Orders  were  sent  into  the  county  of  Merillano, 
and  the  President  Gannay  and  the  seneschal  (lately  made 
Duke  of  Nola,  and  grand  chamberlain  of  the  kingdom)  were 
suspected  to    have  taken    money  for  obtaining   them :    by 


-  Fnwably  Fog-gio  Reale,  a  palace  near  Naples,  which  Charles  VIII 
Hrequentlv  visited. 


1495.]  DESIGN    AGAINST    THE    TCIIICS.  lOfl 

those  orders  every  one  was  to  be  confirmed  in  his  posses- 
sions, only  the  partisans  of  the  house  of  Anjou  were  to  be 
excluded  from  their  estates,  unless  they  could  make  good 
their  titles  by  law  ;  and  for  such  as  had  entered  of  their  own 
accord  (as  the  Count  di  Celano)  they  were  to  be  ejected  by 
force.  All  estates  and  offices  were  conferred  upon  two  01 
three  Frenchmen,  and  all  the  stores  of  provision  in  the 
castle  of  Naples  (which  were  found  to  be  very  considerable 
upon  the  taking  of  it)  were  given  to  any  man  that  asked, 
with  the  king's  knowledge  and  consent. 

During  these  transactions  the  Germans  capitulated,  and 
delivered  up  the  castle,  keeping  all  the  goods  that  were  in 
it  (to  a  vast  value)  for  themselves.  Another  castle,  called 
Castel  del  Ovo,  was  taken  by  storm  ;  by  which  it  may  be 
perceived  that  what  was  done  was  not  done  so  much  by 
the  condi.ct  or  dexterity  of  the  agents,  as  by  the  provi- 
dence of  God ;  but  the  great  faults  that  were  committed 
were  the  works  of  men  puffed  up  by  vain  glory,  and  un- 
willing to  acknowledge  from  whence  their  success  and 
honour  proceeded ;  and  their  misfortune  was  the  pure 
product  of  their  own  depraved  nature  and  experience : 
so  that  their  fortune  changed  as  suddenly  and  visibly 
as  the  day  rises  in  Norway  or  Iceland,  where  the  days  in 
summer  are  longer  than  in  other  parts,  and  one  day  is 
scarce  ended  until  within  a  quarter  of  an  hour  before  the 
next  begins  to  dawn.  In  the  same  manner  a  wise  man 
might  have  observed  the  face  of  their  good  fortune  alter, 
and  that  enterprise  miscarry  (which,  if  had  been  ascribed  to 
the  true  manager  of  it),  would  have  contributed  mightily  to 
the  honour  and  advantage  of  all  Christendom.  For  the 
Turkish  empire  would  have  been  as  easily  shaken  as  Al- 
phonso's  kingdom  ;  for  the  emperor  is  still  alive,  and  is  a 
man  of  no  reputation  or  courage,  and  his  brother  was  in 
our  king's  hands  (though  he  lived  but  a  few  days  after  the 
Cardinal  of  Valentia  made  his  escape,  and  was  supposed  to 
have  been  poisoned),  and  the  sultan  dreaded  him  above  all 
persons  in  the  world.  Besides,  in  the  very  heart  of  his 
empire  there  were  thousands  of  Christians  ready  to  take 
up  arms;  and  from  Otranto  to   Valona*  is  not  above  sixty 

*  Avlona,  or  Valona,  a  town  in  Albania,  situated  on  the  headland 
known  as  Cape  Linguetta,  in  the  Adriatic  Sea. 


166  THE   MEMOIRS   OP   PHILIP   DE   COMMIXES.        [1495 

miles,  and  from  Valona  to  Constantinople  about  eighteen 
days'  journey,  as  I  have  been  informed  by  men  who  have 
often  travelled  between  those  places,  and  in  all  the  way 
there  are  not  above  two  or  three  strong  towns,  the  rest 
having  been  dismantled.  The  countries  that  lie  between 
are  Albania,  Sclavonia,  and  Greece,  all  of  them  very  po- 
pulous, and  acquainted  with  the  fame  and  character  of  our 
king  by  their  correspondents  in  Venice  and  Apulia,  to  whom 
they  wrote  constantly,  and  awaited  only  their  directions 
to  rebel.  The  king  sent  thither  to  them  the  Archbishop 
of  Durazzo*,  who  was  an  Albanian  born ;  and,  discours- 
ing with  multitudes  of  the  children  and  grandchildren  of 
several  great  lords,  descendants  of  Scanderbegf,  one  son 
of  the  Emperor  of  Constantinople |,  several  of  the  nephews 
of  the  Lord  Constantine§  (at  present  Governor  of  Mont- 
ferrat),  and  some  nephews  or  cousins  to  the  King  of  Servia, 
he  found  them  all  inclinable  to  revolt.  In  Thessaly  above 
five  thousand  men  would  have  appeared,  and  Scutari  and 
Croia  would  have  been  surprised  by  means  of  the  Lord  Con- 
stantine, who  lay  concealed  several  days  in  my  house  at 
Venice ;  for  Macedonia  and  Thessaly,  which  formerly  be- 
longed to  Alexander  the  Great,  were  his  inheritance.  Va- 
lona is  situated  in  them ;  Scutari  and  Croia  are  not  far  off; 
but  in  his  time  his  father  or  uncle  ||  mortgaged  them  to  the 
Venetians,  who  lost  Croia,  and  Scutari  was  surrendered  to 
the  Turk  upon  articles  of  peace.  \.  The  said  Lord  Con- 
stantine  was  at  that  time  within  three  leagues  of  them  ;  and 

*  Paolo  Angelo,  Archbishop  of  Durazzo,  a  native  of  Drivasto  in 
Albania,  and  a  friend  and  councillor  of  Scanderbeg.  —  Hammer,  iii 
123. 

f  George  Castriota,  suraamed  Iskender-beg,  or  the  Lord  Alexander, 
was  an  Albanian  prince,  celebrated  for  his  heroic  warfare  against  the 
Turks.  He  was  born  in  1404,  and  died  in  1467.  His  death  was  soon 
followed  by  the  entire  submission  of  Albania  to  the  Turkish  yoke. 

J  Probably  Thomas  Palasologus,  son  of  the  Emperor  Manuel,  and 
brother  of  Constantine  Dragases,  the  last  Emperor  of  Constantinople. 

§  Constantine  Aranito,  of  the  family  of  the  Comneni,  and  uncle  to 
Mary  Duchess  of  Montferrat. 

||  George,  son  of  Stracimer  Balch,  Prince  of  Scutari,  gave  that  town 
to  the  Venetians  in  1394. — Mdratori,  xxii.  762. 

\.  Croia,  in  Albania,  was  given  to  the  Venetians  by  Scanderbtg,  and 
surrendered  to  Mahomet  II.  on  the  15th  of  June,  1478.  S*nitari  was 
ceded  by  treaty  on  the  26th  of  January,  1479.— Hammes,  iii  227 


1495]  ARCHBISHOP    OF    DUHAZZO    TAKEN.  lG"* 

the  enterprise  would  have  been  executed,  had  not  the  Arch- 
bishop of  Durazzo  stayed  at  Venice  some  time  after  Con- 
stantine's  departure.  I  pressed  him  hard  to  depart,  for  I 
thought  him  a  person  that  could  not  keep  a  secret  long;  and 
he  went  up  and  down  boasting  that  he  was  ahout  an  atfair 
which  would  make  him  celebrated  all  over  Christendom.  By 
ill  fortune,  on  the  very  day  that  the  Venetians  had  news  of 
the  death  of  the  Turk's  brother,  whom  the  Pope  had  deli- 
vered to  our  king,  they  resolved  to  give  notice  of  it  to 
the  Sultan  by  one  of  their  secretaries  ;  and  being  assured 
that  whoever  brought  the  first  news  would  be  certain  of  a 
great  reward,  they  ordered  that  no  vessel  should  pass  between 
the  two  castles  in  the  night  (which  castles  command  the 
entrance  of  the  gulf  of  Venice);  to  prevent  which  they 
posted  guards  at  both  of  them,  being  fearful  of  nothing  so 
much  as  the  small  vessels  and  grips*,  as  they  call  them,  of 
which  there  are  great  numbers  in  the  ports  of  Albania,  and 
their  islands  in  Greece. 

The  poor  archbishop  happened  that  very  night  to  set  out 
upon  the  Lord  Constantine's  enterprise,  and  carrying  along 
with  him  abundance  of  swords,  bucklers,  and  javelins,  for  the 
useof  hisconfederates  who  wanted  them;  as  he  passed  between 
the  two  castles  he  was  stopped  and  taken,  and  himself  and 
servants  secured  in  one  of  them  ;  but  the  vessels  had  leave 
to  go  on.  They  searched  him,  and  found  letters  about  him 
that  discovered  the  whole  plot ;  and  the  Lord  Constantine 
has  told  me  since  that  the  Venetians  sent  immediate  notice 
to  all  the  Turkish  garrisons  that  were  near,  and  an  express 
to  the  Grand  Signor  himself;  so  that,  had  it  not  been  for 
the  grip  which  they  suffer  to  pass  (whose  master  was  an 
Albanian  who  gave  him  notice),  the  Lord  Constantine  had 
been  taken ;  but  he  escaped  by  sea,  and  got  away  into 
Apulia, 

•  SmaJ  vessels  corresponding  Tith  our  modem  brigantinc*. 


1 68  THE   MEMOIRS   OP   PHILIP  DE    COMMINES.        [  I  495. 


Ch.  XVIII. — A  Digression  or  Discourse,  by  no  Means  unconnected 
with  the  main  Subject,  in  which  Philip  de  Commines,  Author  of  this 
present  Book,  speaks  at  some  Length  of  the  State  and  Government  of 
the  Signory  of  Venice,  and  of  what  he  saw,  and  what  was  done,  while 
he  was  Ambassador  from  the  King  of  Trance  in  the  City  of  Venice. 
—1495. 

It  is  now  high  time  for  me  to  say  something  of  the  Vene- 
tians, and  of  the  occasion  of  my  being  sent  thither  in  an 
embassy  while  the  king  was  employed  in  his  affairs  at 
Naples.  I  was  sent  from  Asti  to  return  them  thanks  for 
the  civil  and  obliging  answers  they  had  given  to  two  former 
ambassadors  from  his  majesty,  and  to  endeavour,  if  possible, 
to  continue  them  in  his  friendship,  and  to  cultivate  a  good 
understanding  with  them  ;  for  he  saw  their  power,  wisdom, 
and  conduct  was  more  like  to  disturb  him  than  any  other 
state  in  Italy.  The  Duke  of  Milan  hastened  my  despatch, 
and  wrote  to  his  resident  there  (where  he  constantly  had 
one)  to  assist  me,  and  give  me  instructions  to  whom  I  should 
apply  myself.  His  ambassador  had  an  allowance  from  the 
Signory  of  a  hundred  ducats  a  month,  his  lodgings  well 
furnished,  and  three  gondolas  to  carry  him  about  the  town 
without  expense  ;  and  the  Venetian  ambassador  has  the  same 
at  Milan,  excepting  the  boats  ;  for  there  they  go  on  horse- 
back, and  at  Venice  in  boats.  In  my  journey  thither  I 
passed  by  several  of  their  cities,  Brescia,  Verona,  Vicenza, 
Padua,  and  other  places.  I  was  treated  very  civilly  wher- 
ever I  came,  in  honour  to  the  monarch  who  sent  me,  and  the 
people  came  out  to  meet  me  in  great  bodies,  with  their 
Podesta  or  captain  *  ;  both  of  them  never  came  out  to- 
gether, but  the  captain  met  me  at  the  gate.  When  I  had 
entered  the  town  I  was  conducted  to  my  lodgings  ;  the 
master  of  the  house  was  commanded  that  I  should  want  no- 
thing, and  my  whole  charges  were  borne,  and  mighty  good 
words  given  me  into  the  bargain ;  yet,  if  you  compute  what 
must  necessarily  be  given  to  the  drums,  trumpets,  and  officers 
in  those  ceremonies,  an  ambassador  will  be  found  to  save 
but  little  ;  however,  my  reception  was  most  honourable. 

*  The  Podesta  was  the  civil  governor  of  the  town*  the  captain  the 
military  commandant. 


149.".]  C0M3nxES  enters  Venice.  1U9 

The  day  that  I  made  my  entry  into  Venice  they  sent 
to  meet  me  as  far  as  Fusinn,  which  is  five  miles  from 
Venice ;  there  you  leave  the  boats  which  bring  you  down 
the  river  *  from  Padua,  and  get  into  little  boats  covered 
with  tapestry  and  very  neat,  with  fair  carpets  within,  and 
velvet  cushions  to  sit  upon.  To  this  place  you  come  from 
,  Venice  by  sea,  as  it  is  the  next  place  to  Venice  upon  terra 
firma  ;  but  the  sea  (unless  agitated  by  some  storm)  is  very 
calm,  which  is  the  reason  of  the  great  abundance  of  all  sorts 
of  fish.  I  was  extremely  surprised  at  the  situation  of  this 
city,  to  see  so  many  churches,  monasteries,  and  houses,  and 
all  in  the  water;  and  the  people  have  no  other  passage  up 
and  down  the  streets  but  in  boats,  of  which,  I  believe,  they 
have  near  thirty  thousand,  but  they  are  very  small.  About 
the  city,  within  less  than  the  compass  of  half  a  French 
league,  there  are  seventy  religious  houses  both  of  men  and 
women,  all  situated  in  little  islands,  very  beautiful  and 
magnificent  both  in  building  and  furniture,  with  fair  gardens 
belonging  to  them;  without  reckoning  those  in  the  city, 
where  there  are  the  four  orders  of  mendicants,  and  seventy- 
two  parishes,  besides  several  fraternities  ;  and,  indeed,  it  is 
most  strange  to  behold  so  many  stately  churches  in  the  sea. 
I  was  met  and  complimented  at  Fusina  by  five  and  twenty 
gentlemen,  richly  dressed  in  silks  and  scarlets;  they  wel- 
comed me  with  abundance  of  civility,  and  conducted  me  to 
St.  Andrew's  church,  which  was  near  the  town,  where  as 
many  other  gentlemen  met  and  complimented  me.  These 
were  accompanied  by  the  ambassadors  of  Milan  and  Ferrara  ; 
and  alter  they  had  made  another  speech  to  me  I  was  con- 
ducted into  other  larger  boats,  which  they  called  Plats,  two 
of  which  were  covered  with  crimson  satin,  and  spread  with 
tape-try  at  the  bottom,  big  enough  to  hold  forty  persons  ; 
and  placing  me  between  the  two  ambassadors  (the  middle 
being  the  most  honourable  place  in  Italy),  I  was  conducted 
through  the  principal  street,  which  they  call  the  Grand 
Canal,  and  it  is  so  wide  that  galleys  frequently  cross  one 
another  ;  indeed  I  have  seen  vessels  of  four  hundred  tons  or 
more  ride  at  anchor  just  by  the  houses.  It  is  the  fairest  and 
best-built  street,  I  think,  in  the  world,  and  goes  quite  through 
th2  city;  the  houses  are  very  large  and  loity,  and  built  of 

*  The  Brcuta. 


170  thE  MEMuins  of  ruiLir  de  commixes.       ri 495 


u 


stone;  the  old  ones  are  all  painted;  those  of  about  a  hun- 
dred years  standing  are  faced  with  white  marble  from  Istria 
^which  is  about  a  hundred  miles  from  Venice),  and  inlaid 
with  porphyry  and  serpentine.  Within  they  have,  most  of 
them,  two  chambers  at  least  adorned  with  gilt  ceilings,  rich 
marble  chimney-pieces,  bedsteads  of  gold  colour,  their  por- 
tals of  the  same,  and  most  gloriously  furnished.  In  short, 
it  is  the  most  triumphant  city  that  I  have  ever  seen,  the 
most  respectful  to  all  ambassadors  and  strangers,  governed 
with  the  greatest  wisdom,  and  serving  God  with  the  most 
solemnity  ;  so  that,  though  in  other  things  tliey  miglit  be 
faulty,  I  believe  God  blesses  them  for  the  reverence  they 
show  in  the  service  of  the  church. 

In  the  company  of  these  fifty  gentlemen  I  was  conveyed 
to  St.  George's  (which  is  an  abbey  of  reformed  black  friars), 
wher»  I  had  an  apartment  prepared  for  me.  The  next 
morning  they  came  to  wait  on  me  again,  and  conducted  me 
to  the  Signory,  where  I  delivered  my  credentials  to  the 
Doge  *,  who  presides  in  all  their  councils,  and  is  honoured 
as  a  king.  AH  letters  are  addressed  to  him,  but  of  himself 
lie  cannot  do  much  ;  yet  this  one  had  greater  authority  than 
any  of  his  predecessors,  for  he  had  been  Doge  for  above 
twelve  years  ;  and  I  found  him  a  prudent  man,  of  great  ex- 
perience in  the  affairs  of  Italy,  and  civil  and  courteous  in 
Ids  person.  The  first  day  of  my  arrival  was  spent  in  receiv- 
ing their  compliments,  and  viewing  three  or  four  chambers 
in  the  duke's  palace  ;  in  which  the  ceilings,  beds,  and  portals 
were  all  richly  gilt ;  the  apartments  are  very  fine,  but  the 
court  is  not  large.  The  palace  is  splendid  and  rich  in  all  it 
contains,  being  built  of  finely  carved  marble,  and  the  whole 
front  and  lacings  are  of  stone,  gilt  an  inch  thick  ;  and  there 
are  in  this  palace  four  handsome  saloons,  richly  gilt,  and 
very  spacious.  The  Doge  from  his  own  chamber  can  hear 
mass  at  the  high  altar  in  the  chapel  of  St.  Mark,  which,  for 
a  chapel,  is  the  most  magnificent  piece  of  building  in  the 
universe,  being  built  of  mosaic  work  in  every  part,  of  which 
they  pretend  to  be  the  inventors  ;  and,  indeed,  it  is  a  great 
trade  amongst  them,  as  I  have  seen. 

*  Agostito  Barberigo,  elected  Doge  :n  the  3Cth  of  August,  1486 
held  the  office  for  fifteen  years. 


1495.]  DESCRIPTION    OF    VENICE.  171 

In  this  chapel  their  treasure  (of  which  so  much  is  said)  is 
kept,  and  intended  only  for  the  decoration  of  their  churches  ; 
there  are  twelve  or  fourteen  rubies,  the  largest  I  ever  saw ; 
one  of  them  weighs  seven,  the  other  eight  hundred  carats, 
but  botli  of  them  are  unpolished  ;  there  are  twelve  other 
stones  in  cases  of  gold,  with  the  edges  and  forepart  set 
richly  with  very  fine  jewels.  There  are  also  twelve  crowns 
of  gold,  wherewith,  anciently,  upon  certain  festivals  in  the 
year,  twelve  women  of  the  city  were  crowned ;  and  being 
styled  and  attended  as  queens,  they  passed  in  great  pomp 
and  solemnity  through  all  the  churches  and  islands.  But,  at 
length,  certain  robbers  from  Istria  and  Friuli  (which  are  not 
far  off),  concealed  about  those  islands,  took  their  opportunity 
and  surprised  a  number  of  the  women  of  the  city.  Their 
husbands  pursued,  overtook,  and  recovered  them  ;  upon 
which  they  offered  up  their  crowns  to  St.  Mark,  and  founded 
a  chapel,  to  which  the  Signory  repairs  every  year  upon  the 
day  of  their  victory.  There  is  also  great  store  of  rich  orna- 
ments for  the  church,  with  several  fair  pieces  of  gold,  many 
fine  amethysts  and  agates,  and  some  small  emeralds.  But 
this  is  not  a  treasure  of  equal  value  with  ready  money,  and, 
indeed,  they  have  not  much  of  that  kind  of  treasure  ;  for 
the  Doge  told  me  in  the  Senate-house  that  it  is  a  capital 
crime  among  them  to  suggest  collecting  a  tivasure  of  that 
nature;  and  they  are  right,  for  it  might  cause  dissension 
among  them.  After  they  had  shown  me  their  treasure  I 
was  carried  to  see  their  arsenal,  where  their  galleys  are 
equipped,  and  all  things  necessary  provided  for  their  navies  ; 
which,  perhaps,  is  even  now  the  finest  in  the  world,  and  was 
formerly  under  better  order  and  regulation. 

In  short,  I  resided  there  eight  months  at  their  expense,  and 
all  the  other  ambassadors  who  were  there  had  the  same  treat- 
ment ;  in  which  time  I  can  assure  you  I  found  them  so  wise, 
and  so  intent  upon  enlarging  their  territories,  that,  if  it  be 
not  prevented  in  time,  all  the  neighbouring  States  may 
lament  it  too  late.  For  since  our  king's  expedition  into 
Italy  they  have  been  much  more  dexterous  and  skilful  in 
attacking  and  defending  themselves  than  formerly  ;  for  they 
sire  still  at  war  with  him,  and  yet  they  have  extended  their 
dominions,  and  lent  money  upon  the  security  of  seven  or 
eight  cities  in  Apulia,  which  I  am  not  sure  will  ever  be  re 


172  THE    MEMOIRS    OF    PHILIP    DE    COMMINES.         [1495. 

Btored.*  Besides,  at  the  king's  first  coming  into  Italy  they 
did  not  imagine  towns  could  have  been  taken  so  easily  (con- 
trary to  their  custom),  nor  in  so  short  a  time ;  but  since 
they  have  been  better  instructed  in  the  art  of  war,  they  have 
fortified  their  towns  very  strongly,  and  other  common- 
wealths have  done  the  same.  It  is  not  to  be  expected  that 
they  should  attain  to  the  perfection  and  grandeur  of  the  old 
Romans,  for  their  bodies  are  not  so  able  to  bear  the  fatigues 
of  war,  neither  are  they  of  such  a  martial  genius  ;  for  they 
never  make  war  upon  the  continent  in  their  own  persons,  as 
the  Komans  did ;  but  they  send  their  Proveditori  and  other 
officers,  with  their  general,  to  furnish  his  army  with  provi- 
sions, and  assist  him  in  his  councils  of  war.  But  their  naval 
expeditions  are  wholly  managed  by  their  own  people  ;  their 
fleet,  both  galleys  and  ships,  being  manned  with  their  own 
subjects,  and  commanded  by  their  own  nobility.  Another 
great  advantage  they  have  by  not  going  in  person  to  the 
wars  upon  terra  jirma,  and  that  is,  there  is  no  man  among 
them  of  that  boldness  or  interest  as  to  dare  to  make 
any  attempt  to  seize  the  government,  as  they  did  in  Rome  ; 
which  is  great  wisdom,  and  prevents  many  civil  contentions, 
against  which  they  have  provided  in  several  ways,  and  all 
very  wisely.  They  have  no  tribunes  of  the  people,  as  they 
had  in  Rome  (and  those  tribunes  were  in  part  the  cause  of 
its  destruction)  ;  the  people  among  them  are  of  no  authority, 
are  consulted  in  no  affair  of  state,  and  are  incapable  of  bear- 
ing any  office  ;  for  all  their  officers,  except  the  secretaries, 
are  chosen  out  of  the  gentry  ;  and  thus  the  greater  part  of 
the  people  have  no  share  in  the  government.  Titus  Livius 
has  acquainted  them  perfectly  with  the  defects  of  the  Ro- 
man government,  and  they  have  his  history  in  great  esteem, 
and  his  bones  are  preserved  in  their  palace  at  Padua  ;  so 
that,  for  these  and  many  other  reasons  which  I  observed 
amongst  them,  I  do  once  more  affirm  that  they  are  in  a  fair 
way  to  be  a  very  powerful  people  hereafter. 

*  In  1496  Ferdinand  II.  gave  the  towns  of  Otranto,  Brindisi,  Tram, 
Monopoli,  and  Pulignano  to  the  Venetians  as  security  for  a  debt  of 
200,000  ducats  which  he  owed  them.  But  all  thi  Venetian  possessions 
in  the  kingdom  of  Naples  were  restorei  to  Ifeidinand  the  Catholic  in 
1509, 


I  495.  J  HIS   EMBASS1    TO    VENICE.  173 


Ch.  XIX. — What  were  the  Subjects  of  the  Embassy  of  the  Lora  of 
Argenton  to  the  Republic  of  Venice. — 1495. 

But  to  come  to  the  business  of  my  embassy:  it  was  to  thank 
the  Venetians  for  their  civil  answers  which  they  had  given 
to  two  of  our  king's  ambassadors  who  had  been  sent  to 
them  before ;  by  which  answers  he  was  encouraged  to  pro- 
ceed boldly  in  his  enterprise  ;  and  all  this  passed  before  his 
majesty  left  Asti.*  I  gave  them  a  large  discourse  of  the  old 
alliances  between  the  kings  of  France  and  their  republic, 
and  offered  them  Brindisi  and  Otranto,  upon  condition  they 
would  engage  to  restore  them,  when  my  master  should  de- 
liver them  two  better  towns  in  Greece.  They  spoke  very 
honourably  both  of  the  king  and  his  affairs  ;  for  they  did  not 
imagine  he  would  proceed  veiy  far.  As  to  the  offer  which 
I  made  them,  they  replied  that  they  were  his  friends  and 
servants,  and  would  not  permit  him  to  purchase  their  alli- 
ance (for  our  king  had  not  yet  these  towns  in  his  power) ; 
and  that  they  were  not  altogether  unprovided  for  war,  if 
they  thought  fit  to  engage  in  it;  but  they  were  resolved  not 
to  do  it,  though  the  Neapolitan  ambassadors  solicited  them 
daily,  and  offered  them  very  advantageous  terms.  And  King 
Alphonso  (who  then  reigned)  confessed  he  had  behaved 
himself  very  ill  towards  them,  and  laid  before  them  the  ill 
consequences  which  would  accrue  to  them  if  our  master  suc- 
ceeded in  his  designs. 

The  Turk,  on  the  other  hand,  sent  an  ambassador  imme- 
diately to  them  (and  I  saw  him  several  times),  who,  at  the 
Pope's  request,  threatened  them  heavily  if  they  did  not  de- 
clare war  against  our  king.  They  gave  fair  answers  to  all 
the  ambassadors;  for  they  had  no  apprehension  of  us  at  that 
time,  and  did  but  laugh  at  our  expedition.  For  indeed  the 
Duke  of  Milan  had  told  them,  by  his  ambassador,  that  they 
need  not  concern  themselves  in  this  affair,  for  he  knew  how 
to  send  our  king  back  again,  without  having  got  any  footing 
in  Italy;  and  he  sent  the  same  message  to  Peter  de  Medicis, 
who  told  me  of  it  afterwards.  But  when  they  and  the  Duke 
of  Milan  saw  the  king  had  got  those  towns  of  the  FlcreiH 

•  The  king  left  Asti  on  the  6th  of  October,  1494. 


174  THE    MEMOIRS    OP    PHILIP    DE    COMMINES.         [1195. 

tines  in  his  possession,  and  especially  Pisa,  they  began  to 
grow  afraid  of  his  designs,  and  to  contrive  how  they  might 
hinder  him  from  advancing  farther ;  but  their  consulta- 
tions were  tedious,  and  in  the  meantime  his  majesty's  affairs 
went  prosperously  on.  However,  messengers  passed  con- 
stantly from  one  to  the  other,  and  the  King  of  Spain  began 
to  be  afraid  for  his  isles  of  Sicily  and  Sardinia.  The  King 
of  the  Romans  began  also  to  be  jealous  of  the  imperial 
crown,  upon  which  he  was  persuaded  by  some  persons  that 
our  king  had  a  design,  and  that  he  had  requested  it  of  the 
Pope  ;  but  this  was  not  true. 

For  these  reasons  the  two  kings  sent  formal  ambassadors 
to  Venice  during  my  residence  there.  The  King  of  the 
Romans,  being  their  neighbour,  first  sent  the  Bishop  of 
Trent  *  as  the  chief  in  that  embassy,  and  with  him  two  gen- 
tlemen and  a  doctor-at-law ;  they  were  received  with  great 
ceremony  and  respect,  entertained  as  handsomely  as  myself, 
had  ten  ducats  a  day  allowed  them  for  their  expense,  and 
the  charge  of  their  horses  (which  were  left  at  Treviso)  was 
borne  besides.  Not  long  after  this  there  arrived  a  person  of 
qualityf  from  Spain,  with  a  numerous  retinue,  and  in  a  very 
splendid  equipage,  who  was  received  as  honorably  as  the 
other,  and  his  charges  also  borne.  The  Duke  of  Milan,  be- 
sides the  ambassador  he  had  there  already,  sent  the  Bishop 
of  Coino^,  and  Signor  Francisco  Bernardino  Visconti.§ 
They  began  to  have  private  conferences  in  the  night,  at 
first  by  means  of  their  secretaries  ;  for  they  durst  not  declare 
publicly  against  the  king  (especially  the  Duke  of  Milan  and 
the  Venetians),  not  knowing  what  the  success  of  this  con- 
federacy might  be.  The  Duke  of  Mdan's  ambassadors  made 
me  a  visit,  brought  me  letters  from  their  master,  and  told 
me  their  coining  was  in  return  for  the  visit  of  two  ambassa- 
dors whom  the  Venetians  had  sent  to  Milan  ;  whereas  the 
custom  was  only  to  have  one  resident  there,  and  at  last  they 
had  no  more.     But  all  this  was  but  artifice  and  deception  ; 

•  Ulrich  von  Lichtenstein,  Bishop  of  Trent,  who  died  on  the  16th  of 
September,  1505. 

f  Lorenzo  Suarez  de  Mendoza  y  Figueroa. — Sismondi,  xii.  266. 

%  Antonio  Trivulzio,  created  a  cardinal  in  1500,  died  on  the  18th  of 
March,  1508.—  Imhoff,  86. 

§  Francesco  Bernardo  Visconti,  elected  a  ducal  councillor  in  1484 


1495.]  IHS    EMBASSY    TO    VENICE.  l"5 

for  they  all  came  on  purpose  to  make  an  alliance  against 
our  good  king,  and  so  many  secret  cabals  could  not  be 
carried  on  long  without  becoming  known.  They  next  asked 
me  if  I  did  not  know  what  was  the  cause  of  the  coming  of  the 
ambassadors  from  Spain  and  the  King  of  the  Romans,  that 
they  might  give  their  master  an  account  of  it.  But  I  was 
informed  before  (by  the  servants  of  the  ambassadors  and 
others)  that  the  Spanish  ambassador  had  passed  through 
Milan  in  disguise,  and  that  the  Germans  were  -wholly 
managed  by  the  duke.  Besides,  I  had  notice  that  the  Nea- 
politan ambassadors  delivered  several  packets  of  letters 
hourly  from  their  master  (for  all  this  was  before  our  king's 
departure  from  Florence).  I  was  at  some  expense  for  my 
intelligence,  but  what  I  had  I  could  depend  on.  I  had 
immediate  notice  of  the  treaty  that  was  on  foot,  and  what 
were  the  first  proposals  that  were  made,  but  not  agreed  to  ; 
for  in  such  consultations  the  Venetians  are  very  long.  For 
these  reasons,  and  seeing  the  alliance  near  its  conclusion,  I 
would  not  pretend  ignorance,  but  answered  the  Milanese 
ambassador  that,  since  they  carried  things  so  strangely,  I 
would  let  them  know  that  my  master  would  not  lose  the 
friendship  of  the  Duke  of  Milan  if  there  was  a  possibility 
of  preserving  it,  and  that  I  would  acquit  myself  as  an  am- 
bassador, and  excuse  whatever  ill  reports  might  have  been 
made  to  the  Duke  of  Milan  against  my  master.  The  duke, 
I  presumed,  was  misinformed,  and  I  said  that  he  would  do 
well  to  consider  (before  he  lost  the  recompense  of  so  great 
a  service  as  he  had  already  done  the  king)  that  the  kings  of 
France  did  not  use  to  be  ungrateful,  and  that  a  rash  or 
inconsiderate  word  ought  not  to  break  a  friendship  that  was 
of  such  importance  to  both  of  them  ;  and  then  I  desired  that 
they  would  inform  me  of  their  grievances,  that  I  might  ac- 
quaint my  master  with  them  before  they  proceeded  any 
further.  They  swore  to  me  all  of  them,  with  many  impre- 
cations, that  they  had  no  such  thoughts ;  but  they  did  but 
equivocate,  for  they  came  thither  on  purpose  to  negotiate 
this  alliance. 

The  next  morning  I  went  to  the  Signory  to  expostulate 
with  them  about  it,  and  to  say  what  I  thought  proper  in 
the  affair;  among  other  things  I  told  them,  that  by  their 
alliance  with  my  master,  and  their  former  alliance  with  his 


176  'l'HE   MEMOIRS   OF    PHILIP   DE    COMMINES.         [149-5. 

father,  it  was  mutually  provided  that  neither  should  support 
the  enemies  of  the  other  ;  and  that  therefore  this  new  league 
that  was  so  much  talked  of  could  not  be  entertained  by 
them  without  infraction  of  their  promises.  I  was  desired  to 
withdraw,  and,  being  called  in  again  by  and  by,  the  Doge 
told  me  that  I  ought  not  to  believe  all  the  flying  reports  of 
the  town ;  for  in  Venice  all  people  had  the  liberty  of  saying 
what  they  pleased.  However,  lie  assured  me  they  never 
had  any  thoughts  of  entering  into  an  alliance  against  the 
king,  nor  ever  had  heard  of  it;  but  that  their  designs  were 
quite  contrary,  and  rather  to  make  a  league  between  my 
master,  the  two  other  kings,  and  all  Italy,  against  the  Turk, 
and  that  each  should  bear  his  proportion  in  the  charge  of 
the  war ;  and  that  if  in  Italy  there  should  be  any  State  or 
prince  that  refused  to  pay  his  share,  the  king  and  they 
together  should  compel  him  to  do  it.  As  to  the  war  in 
which  my  master  was  at  present  engaged,  they  told  me  that 
they  would  endeavour  to  make  an  honourable  peace  for  him  ; 
and  the  terras  which  they  proposed  were,  that  my  master 
should  accept  of  a  good  sum  of  ready  money,  which  they 
would  advance  upon  the  caution  of  certain  towns  in  Apulia 
(which  are  now  in  their  possession) ;  and  that  the  kingdom 
of  Naples  should  be  held  of  him  by  the  Pope's  consent,  and 
pay  him  an  annual  tribute  ;  and  that  my  master  should 
keep  three  towns  in  his  hands  as  a  security.  I  wish  to  God 
he  had  accepted  those  advantageous  offers. 

I  replied  that  I  had  no  instructions  to  enter  into  any 
such  treaty ;  and  I  desired  that  they  would  not  be  over- 
hasty  in  the  conclusion  of  their  alliance,  that  I  might  have 
time  to  acquaint  my  master  with  their  proceedings,  re- 
questing them  (as  I  had  done  the  others),  that  they  would 
acquaint  me  with  their  grievances,  and  not  conceal  them  as 
the  ambassadors  of  Milan  had  done.  Then  they  plainly 
told  me  that  they  were  not  pleased  with  the  king's  having 
seized  upon  the  Pope's  towns,  much  less  with  what  he  had 
taken  from  the  Florentines,  and  particularly  Pisa;  alleging 
that  my  master  had  written  to  several  princes,  and  to  them 
among  the  rest,  that  he  would  meddle  with  nothing  in  Italy 
but  the  kingdom  of  Naples,  and  that,  having  conquered  that, 
he  would  undertake  an  expedition  against  the  Turk  ;  but 
that,  nevertheless,  he  seemed  desirous  to  get  all  he  could 


1495.]  THli  VENETIANS  C\UAE  AGAINST  TilE  KING.  177 

conquer  in  Italy,  and  not  meddle  with  the  Turk  at  all. 
They  told  me  also  that  the  Duke  of  Orleans'  continuance  at 
Asti  was  a  great  terror  to  the  Duke  of  Milan,  and  that  the 
ministers  of  the  Duke  of  Orleans  had  threatened  him  highly. 
However,  they  promised  to  conclude  nothing  before  I  had 
an  answer  from  my  master,  or  at  least  before  a  convenient 
time  to  receive  it  was  past ;  and  they  showed  me  more 
respect  than  the  Duke  of  Milan.  I  acquainted  his  majesty 
with  every  particular,  but  his  answer  was  unsatisfactory  ; 
after  which  they  had  conferences  every  day,  for  they  knew 
their  designs  were  discovered.  The  King  of  France  was  at 
Florence  in  the  meantime  ;  and  if  he  had  met  with  any  oppo- 
sition at  Viterbo,  as  was  expected,  they  would  have  sent 
forces  to  Rome  ;  and  they  would  have  done  the  same  if  King 
Ferrand  had  continued  at  Rome,  for  they  could  not  imagine 
he  would  have  abandoned  the  city ;  but,  when  they  saw  he 
was  retired,  they  began  to  be  afraid.  Yet  the  ambassadors 
from  the  two  kings  pressed  them  hard  to  come  to  some  reso- 
lution, declaring  they  would  otherwise  be  gone  ;  for  they  had 
been  there  four  months,  every  day  soliciting  the  Signory; 
and  I  was  as  diligent  in  making  an  interest  against  them. 


Cn.  XX. — How  the  Lord  of  Argenton  was  informed  that  the  King  had 
gained  Possession  of  Naples  and  the  Plaees  round  about;  at  which 
the  Venetians  were  displeased. — 1495. 

When  the  Venetians  understood  that  several  towns  in  Italy 
had  surrendered,  and  were  informed  of  the  king's  being  at 
Naples,  they  sent  for  me  to  tell  me  the  news,  and  pretended 
to  be  extremely  pleased  with  it;  yet  they  gave  me  to  un- 
derstand that  the  castle  held  out  still  against  him ;  that 
there  was  a  strong  garrison  in  it,  and  provided  with  every 
thing  necessary  for  its  defence;  and  I  could  perceive  they 
had  great  hopes  it  would  never  be  taken.  Upon  which 
ground  they  had  consented  that  the  Neapolitan  ambassador 
should  raise  forces  in  Venice  to  be  sent  to  Brindisi,  and 
were  just  upon  the  conclusion  of  their  league,  wiien  their 
ambassadors  acquainted  them  by  letter  of  the  surrender  o( 

VOL.   II.  M 


178  THE    MEMOIRS   OF   rHII.II'   DE   COMM1NES.         [1495. 

the  castle  of  Naples.*  They  sent  for  me  again  one  morning 
and  I  found  about  fifty  or  sixty  of  them  assembled  in  their 
Doge's  chamber,  who  was  at  that  time  ill  of  the  cholic.  The 
Doge,  with  a  composed  countenance,  rather  inclining  to  joy, 
told  me  the  news ;  but  there  was  none  in  all  the  company 
could  counterfeit  so  well  as  himself.  Some  of  them  sate 
upon  low  seats,  with  their  elbows  upon  their  knees,  and 
their  heads  between  their  hands ;  others  in  other  postures, 
but  all  expressing  great  sorrow  at  heart ;  and  I  believe  after 
the  battle  of  Cannae  there  was  not  more  terror  felt  by  the 
senators  of  Rome ;  for  not  one  of  them  had  courage  enough 
to  look  upon  me  or  speak  to  me  but  the  Doge  himself, 
which  I  thought  was  very  strange.  The  Doge  asked  me 
whether  the  king  my  master  would  now  perform  what  he 
had  always  promised,  and  I  had  always  told  them.  I  assured 
them  he  would,  and  promised  them  to  use  my  utmost  en- 
deavours, by  way  of  mediation,  in  hopes  by  this  means  to 
pacify  their  fears  and  jealousies  ;  and  then  I  took  my  leave 
of  them. 

Their  league  as  yet  was  neither  broken  off  nor  concluded  ; 
but  the  Germans  were  dissatisfied,  and  wished  to  be  gone. 
The  Duke  of  Milan  would  not  consent  to  some  of  the  articles  ; 
but  at  length  he  sent  instructions  to  his  ambassadors  to  dis- 
patch, and  in  a  short  time  the  league  was  concluded.  "Whilst 
this  affair  was  in  agitation  I  wrote  constantly  to  our  king, 
advising  him  to  make  peace,  or  else  to  continue  in  that  king- 
dom, and  provide  himself  better  with  men  and  money;  but, 
if  he  did  not  approve  of  my  advice,  that  he  would  be  pleased 
to  make  good  his  retreat  towards  France,  and  put  strong 
garrisons  into  the  chief  towns,  before  the  confederates  had 
assembled  their  forces.  1  wrote  also  to  the  Duke  of  Orleans, 
who  was  at  Asti,  but  attended  by  his  own  domestics  only  (for 
1  lis  forces  were  with  the  king),  and  advised  him  to  throw 
more  men  into  that  town,  assuring  him  that  he  would  sud- 
denly be  besieged  in  it.  1  sent  likewise  to  the  Duke  of 
Uourbon  (whom  the  king  had  left  as  his  lieutenant  in  France) 
to  send  what  forces  he  could  spare  to  reinforce  the  garrison 
of  Asti  ,  for  if  that  town  were  lost,  no  supplies  could  be  sent 
to  the  king.     I  also  gave  notice  to  the  Marchioness  of  Mont- 

•  Od  the  13th  of  March,  1495. 


1495.]  TI1E    VENETIANS    DECLARE    HOSTILITIES.  1 7f 

ferrat  (who  was  true  to  the  French,  and  a  great  enemy  to 
♦,he  Duke  of  Milan),  that  she  might  be  ready  to  assist  the 
Duke  of  Orleans  with  her  forces,  if  there  should  be  occasion  t 
for  the  taking  of  A-ti  would  entail  on  her  the  loss  of  the  two 
marquisates  of  Montferrat  and  Saluzzo. 

The  league  was  concluded  one  night  very  late*;  the  next 
morning  I  was  sent  for  by  the  Signory  somewhat  earlier  than 
usual.  As  soon  as  I  came  thither,  and  had  taken  my  seat, 
the  Doge  told  me,  that  in  honour  to  the  H  ly  Trinity  they 
had  entered  into  an  alliance  with  our  Holy  Father  the  Pope, 
the  Kings  of  the  Romans  and  of  Castile,  and  the  Duke  of 
Milan,  for  three  principal  objects:  one  was  to  defend  Chris- 
tendom against  the  Turk ;  the  second  was  the  defence  of 
Italy;  and  the  third  the  preservation  of  their  territories, 
which  they  desired  I  would  notify  to  the  king  my  master. 
They  were  in  all  about  a  hundred  or  more,  looked  very  gay, 
and  held  their  heads  high,  and  there  was  no  such  sadness  in 
tlieir  countenances  as  upon  the  day  when  they  heard  of  the 
surrender  of  the  castle  of  Naples.  They  also  told  me  that 
they  had  written  to  their  ambassadors,  who  were  attending 
on  our  king,  to  take  their  leave,  and  return  to  Venice.  One 
of  their  ambassadors  was  Dominico  Loredano,  and  the  other 
Dominico  Trevisano.  I  was  extremely  troubled  and  concerned 
for  my  master's  person,  as  I  feared  that  he  and  his  whole 
army  were  in  great  danger ;  for  I  thought  the  confederates 
were  much  forwarder  than  they  were  (as  they  also  thought 
themselves),  and  that  some  German  troops  had  been  near  at 
hand.  If  it  had  been  so,  the  king  could  never  have  got  out 
of  Italy.  I  had  resolved  within  myself  to  speak  little  in  my 
passion  ;  but  they  provoked  me  beyond  the  bounds  I  had  set 
myself.  I  told  them  that  the  night  before  I  had  sent  my 
master  notice  of  their  alliance  (as  I  had  done  often),  and  that 
he  had  written  me  word  he  had  news  of  it,  both  from  Milan 
and  Rome.  The  Doge  seemed  to  be  surprised  to  hear  I  had 
written  concerning  the  alliance  on  the  night  before ;  for  there 
are  no  people  in  the  world  so  jealous,  nor  who  keep  their 
counsels  so  secret  as  they;  and  upon  bare  suspicion  they 
many  times  imprison  their  dearest  friends.  Upon  that  con- 
6ideration  I  told  them  further,  that  I  had  written  to  the 

•  On  the  31st  of  March,  1 495.— Sismondi,  xii.  270. 

H   2 


ISO  THE    MEMOIRS   OF   PHILIP   DE    COM5I1NE9.         L1_^5 

Dukes  of  Orleans  and  Bourbon  to  take  care  to  reinforce  the 
garrison  of  Asti ;  and  I  said  this  in  hopes  to  discourage  them 
from  attempting  to  surprise  it,  which  they  might  certainly 
have  done,  had  they  been  as  ready  as  they  pretended;  for  it 
was  in  a  weak  posture  of  defence  a  long  time  after.  They  re- 
plied that  they  had  no  hostile  intentions  against  the  king ; 
that  what  they  had  done,  or  should  do,  would  be  only  in 
defence  of  themselves ;  and  they  could  not  suffer  that  my 
master  should  amuse  all  Europe  with  his  fair  words,  as  he 
had  done,  saying  that  he  wanted  nothing  but  the  kingdom  of 
Naples,  and  would  next  turn  his  arms  against  the  Turk  ;  and 
that  then  he  should  falsify  his  word,  act  quite  contrary,  pos- 
sess himself  of  what  he  could  in  the  territories  both  of  the 
Florentines  and  the  Pope,  and  endeavour  to  destroy  the  Duke 
of  Milan.  To  which  I  answered,  that  the  kings  of  France 
had  been  so  far  from  defrauding  the  Church  of  any  of  its  re- 
venues, that,  on  the  contrary,  they  had  always  augmented 
them,  and  defended  its  rights ;  that  those  could  not  be  the 
reasons  for  their  league,  as  they  pretended,  but  that  they  had 
a  desire  to  involve  Italy  in  new  troubles,  to  make  their  ad- 
vantage out  of  them,  and  that  I  thought  they  intended  to  do 
it.  They  resented  that  expression  of  mine,  as  I  was  in- 
formed afterwards;  however,  it  proved  true,  as  appeared  by 
the  towns  which  King  Ferrand  pledged  to  them  in  Apulia 
to  induce  them  to  assist  him  against  us.  I  rose  up  to  take 
leave,  but  they  made  me  sit  down  again  ;  and  the  Doge  asked 
me  if  I  had  any  overtures  of  peace  to  make,  because  on  the 
day  before  I  had  said  something  to  that  purpose ;  but  that 
was  only  offered  in  case  they  would  have  protracted  the  con- 
clusion of  the  league  for  fifteen  days  longer,  that  I  might  have 
had  time  to  write  to  his  majesty,  and  receive  his  answer. 

After  this  I  retired  to  my  lodgings,  and  they  sent  for  the 
rest  of  the  ambassadors  one  after  another.  At  my  coming 
out  of  the  council  I  met  the  Neapolitan  ambassador  in  a  fine 
new  gown,  and  very  gay  ;  and  indeed  he  had  reason  to  be  so, 
for  this  was  a  lucky  turn  of  affairs  for  him.  After  dinner 
all  the  ambassadors  of  the  league  met  together  in  boats  upon 
t\ae  water  (which  in  Venice  is  their  chief  recreation);  the 
whole  number  of  their  boats  (which  are  provided  at  the 
charge  of  the  Signory,  and  proportioned  to  every  man's  re- 
tinue) was  about  forty,  every  one  of  them  adurned  with  the 


1495.]        PROCLAMATION  OF  THi:  LEAGUE.  181 

arms  of  their  respective  masters  ;  and  in  this  pomp  they 
passed  under  my  windows  with  their  trumpets  and  other 
instruments  of  music.  The  amhassadors  of  Milan  (at  least  one 
of  them),  who  had  kept  me  company  fur  many  months,  would 
take  no  manner  of  notice  of  me  now.  For  three  days  together 
I  and  my  domestics  kept  within  doors  ;  though  indeed  I 
cannot  say  either  they  or  I  were  affronted  all  the  while, 
At  night  there  were  extraordinary  fire- works  upon  the 
turrets,  steeples,  and  tops  of  the  ambassadors'  houses,  multi- 
tudes of  bonfires  were  lighted,  and  the  cannon  all  round  the 
city  were  fired.  I  was  in  a  covei'ed  boat,  rowing  by  the 
wharves  to  see  this  triumphal  sight,  about  ten  o'clock  at 
night,  especially  before  the  ambassadors'  houses,  where  there 
was  great  banqueting. 

But  this  was  not  the  day  on  which  the  league  was  pro- 
claimed ;  for  the  Pope  had  sent  to  them  to  defer  it  for  some 
days,  till  Palm-Sunday,  at  which  time  he  had  ordered  that 
every  prince  in  whose  dominions  it  was  published,  and  all 
the  ambassadors  then  with  him,  should  carrvan  olive-branch 
in  their  hand,  in  token  of  their  alliance  and  peace ;  and  that 
upon  the  same  day  it  should  be  published  both  in  Germany 
and  Spain.  At  Venice  they  made,  a  gallery  of  wood  a  good 
height  above  the  ground  (as  they  are  wont  to  do  at  the  in- 
auguration of  their  Doges),  which  reached  from  the  palace  to 
the  end  of  the  piazza  of  St.  Mark  ;  upon  which  (after  mass 
had  been  sung  by  the  Pope's  nuncio,  who  absolved  all  people 
who  were  present  at  the  solemnity)  they  marched  in  proces- 
sion ;  the  Signory  and  the  ambassadors  all  very  splendidly 
dressed,  several  of  them  in  crimson  velvet  gowns  which  the 
Signory  had  presented  to  them,  at  least  to  the  Germans ; 
and  all  their  retinue  in  new  gowns,  but  these  were  a  little 
of  the  shortest.  After  the  procession  was  ended,  a  great 
many  pageants  and  mysteries  were  exhibited  to  the  people  : 
first  of  all,  Italy,  and  then  the  allied  kings  and  princes, 
and  the  Queen  of  Spain.  At  their  return,  at  a  porphyry 
stone,  where  such  things  are  usually  done,  proclamation  was 
made,  and  the  alliance  published.  There  was  at  that  time 
a  Turkish  ambassador,  who  looked  privately  through  a 
window  and  saw  this  solemnity.  He  had  taken  leave,  but 
was  asked  to  stay  to  see  this  festival  ;  and  at  night,  by  the 
assistance  of  a  Greek,  he  paid  me  a  visit,  and  stayed  four 

h  5 


182  THE   MEMOIRS   OF   PHILIP   DE   COMMINES.  [1495. 

hours  in  my  chamber  ;  and  his  great  desire  was  to  cultivate 
a  friendship  betwixt  his  master  and  mine.  I  was  twice  in- 
vited to  this  feast,  but  desired  to  be  excused ;  yet  I  stayed 
nearly  a  month  after  in  the  town,  and  was  all  the  while  as 
civilly  entertained  as  before  the  publication  of  this  alliance. 
At  length  I  was  recalled  ;  and,  having  had  an  audience  of 
leave,  they  gave  me  a  passport,  and  conducted  me  safely  to 
Ferrara  at  their  own  expense.  The  Duke  of  Ferrara  came 
in  person  to  meet  me,  and  entertained  me  two  days  very 
handsomely  at  his  own  charge.  The  same  civility  I  received 
at  Bologna  from  Prince  John  Bentivoglio  ;  and,  being  sent 
for  to  Florence,  I  continued  there  in  expectation  of  my 
master's  coming,  with  the  relation  of  whose  affairs  I  shall 
now  proceed. 


1495.]  POSITION   OF    AFFAIRS   IN    NAPLES.  183 


BOOK  THE  EIGHTH. 


Ch.  I. — Of  the  Order  in  which  the  King  left  his  Affairs  in  the  Kingdom 
of  Naples  upon  his  Return  into  France. — 1495. 

To  continue  my  Memoirs,  and  for  your  better  information, 
we  must  return  to  our  discourse  of  the  king,  who,  from  his 
first  arrival  at  Naples  to  his  departure,  minded  nothing  but 
his  pleasures,  and  his  ministers  attended  to  nothing  but  their 
own  advantage.  His  youth  might  excuse  him  in  some  mea- 
sure ;  but  nothing  could  excuse  them,  for  the  king  referred 
all  to  their  management ;  and  if  they  only  had  had  the 
discretion  to  advise  him  to  put  strong  garrisons  into  three 
or  four  of  the  chief  castles,  such  as  that  of  Gaeta  ;  nay,  if 
he  had  only  garrisoned  the  castle  of  Naples  (whose  maga- 
zines and  furniture  had  been  given  away  and  embezzled,  as 
you  have  heard),  the  kingdom  of  Naples  had  been  his  at  this 
day  ;  for,  if  he  had  been  master  of  that  castle,  the  town 
would  never  have  revolted.  Upon  the  conclusion  of  this 
Italian  alliance,  he  assembled  all  his  forces  together, 
and  ordered  500  French  men-at-arms,  2,500  Swiss,  and 
some  French  foot  to  remain  to  guard  the  kingdom  ;  and 
with  the  rest  he  resolved  to  march  back  into  France  by  the 
same  way  he  came  ;  while  the  confederates  were  determined 
to  stop  him.  The  King  of  Spain  had  sent,  and  was  still 
sending,  his  caravels  *  into  Sicily,  though  with  but  few  men 
on  board  them.  However,  before  our  king's  departure  they 
had  garrisoned  Rheggio  in  Calabria,  which  is  near  to 
Sicily.  I  had  often  acquainted  my  master  with  their  designs 
of  sending  supplies  thither,  for  the  ambassador  of  Naples 
had  told  me  so,  supposing  they  had  got  there  already  ;  and 
if  the  king  had  sent  any  forces  thither  in  time,  he  would  cer- 

*  A  sort  of  vessels  with  sails  and  oars,  much  used  in  the  Mediter* 
rauean, 

K  4 


"U  THE    MEMOIRS    OF   PHILIP   PE    COMMINES.  [  1  495. 

tainly  have  taken  the  castle;  and  the  town  had  declared  for 
him  before.  For  want  of  our  sending  thither,  the  enemy  landed 
forces  at  Mantia  and  Tropea.  The  townsmen  of  Otranto  in 
Apulia  had  set  up  our  king's  colours  ;  hut,  being  informed  of 
the  new  alliance,  and  considering  how  near  neighbours  they 
were  both  to  Brindisi  and  Gallipoli,  and  how  difficult  it 
would  be  to  furnish  themselves  with  troops,  they  pulled 
them  down  again,  and  erected  the  standard  of  Arragon  ; 
and  Don  Frederic,  who  was  at  Brindisi,  supplied  them  with 
a  garrison.  There  was  a  universal  change  in  the  minds  of 
the  people  through  the  whole  kingdom  ;  and  fortune,  which 
had  been  so  propitious  but  two  months  before,  began  now  to 
frown  upon  us  ;  both  in  relation  to  the  alliance,  the  king's 
departure,  and  the  great  want  in  which  he  left  the  kingdom, 
and  that  rather  in  respect  of  officers  than  soldiers. 

The  supreme  command  was  committed  to  Monsieur  de 
Montpensier*  of  the  house  of  Bourbon,  a  brave  soldier,  and 
a  noble  gentleman ;  but  his  valour  was  greater  than  his  wis- 
dom, and,  besides,  he  was  so  intolerably  lazy,  he  would  never 
rise  till  noon.  In  Calabria  he  left  the  Lord  d'Aubigny,  a 
Scotchman  (a  brave  and  worthy  knight),  to  command  in 
chief.  The  king  had  made  him  grand  constable  of  the 
kingdom,  and  given  him  (as  I  said  before)  the  county  of 
Acri,  and  the  marquisate  of  Squiilazzo.  At  his  first  com- 
ing thither  the  king  had  made  the  seneschal  of  Beaucaire, 
Stephen  de  Vers,  governor  of  Gaeta,  Duke  of  Nola,  and 
lord  high  chamberlain,  and  all  the  money  in  that  kingdom 
passed  through  his  hands  ;  but  he  took  more  upon  him  than 
he  was  able  to  perform  ;  yet  he  was  very  desirous  of  keep- 
ing the  kingdom  of  Naples.  The  king  created  the  Lord  Dom 
Julian  f  of  Lorraine,  Duke  of  St.  Angelo,  in  which  post  he  be- 
haved himself  with  a  great  deal  of  honour  and  reputation.  Pie 
left  Gabriel  de  MontfauconJ  at  Manfredonia.  He  was  a  per- 
son for  whom  the  king  had  a  great  esteem  ;  but  he  managed 

*  Gilbert  de  Bourbon,  Count  of  Montpensier,  Archduke  of  Sessa,  and 
Viceroy  of  Naples.     He  died  at  Pozzuolo  on  the  5th  of  October,  1496. 

f  Antoine  de  Ville,  Lord  of  Domjulien,  and  Duke  of  Sant'  Angelo  in 
the  kingdom  of  Naples,  died  at  Naples  in  1504. 

%  Gabriel  de  Montfaucon,  knight,  Bailiff  of  Meaux,  councillor  and 
chamberlain  to  the  King  of  France,  and  lieutenant  of  the  hundred  gen- 
tlcinen-at-arms  of  the  royal  household. 


149".]  POSITION    OF    AFFAIRS    IN    NArLES.  185 

things  imprudently  there  ;  for,  though  he  found  it  well  pro- 
vided witli  corn  and  everything  else,  yet  he  delivered  it 
up  in  four  days  for  want  of  provisions.  To  all  his  followers 
the  king  gave  great  estates  in  land  ;  but  several  sold  what- 
ever they  found  in  their  castles,  and  it  was  reported 
that  Gabriel  did  so  too.  At  Trani  he  left  William  de 
Villeneuf  *  to  defend  the  town  ;  but,  being  betrayed  and  sold 
by  some  of  his  own  servants  to  Frederic,  he  was  kept  by 
him  a  long  time  in  the  galleys.  He  left  Tarento  to  the  com- 
mand of  George  de  Suillyj",  who  behaved  himself  well,  and 
held  out  till  he  was  forced  by  famine  to  surrender,  and  then 
died  there  of  the  plague.  In  Aquila  he  placed  the  bailiff  of 
VitryJ,  who  discharged  his  duty  as  he  ought  to  do  ;  and 
Gratian  des  Guerres  §  did  the  same  in  Abruzzo.  The  king 
left  them  very  little  money,  only  assignments  upon  the 
revenue,  and  of  that  but  very  little  was  ever  raised.  The 
king  took  care  to  make  a  handsome  provision  for  the 
princes  of  Salerno  and  Bisignano,  who  served  him  faith- 
fully, as  long  as  it  was  in  their  power  to  do  so.  He  also 
gratified  the  Colonne  in  whatever  they  demanded,  and  gave 
them  and  their  friends  the  possession  of  about  thirty  towns; 
which,  if  they  had  defended  as  they  ought  and  as  they  swore 
to  do,  they  would  have  done  his  majesty  singularservice,  and 
reaped  the  honour  and  advantage  of  it  themselves  ;  for  I  do 
not  believe  they  had  been  so  great  for  a  hundred  years 
before.  But  they  had  no  patience  to  stay  till  the  king  had 
left  Italy,  before  they  fell  to  caballing.  It  is  true  they  were 
engaged  with  us  upon  the  Duke  of  Milan's  account,  for 
they  are  naturally  Gibellines.  However,  that  ought  not  to 
have  led  them  to  break  their  oaths,  especially  after  they  had 
been  so  civilly  treated  ;  besides,  the  king  had  done  more  for 

*  Guillnume  de  Villcneufve,  knight,  councillor  and  steward  to  King 
Charles  VIII.,  has  left  an  account  of  his  master's  wars  in  Italy,  in  which 
he  states  that,  being  left  with  forty  men  to  guard  Trani,  thirty-two  of 
his  party  were  suborned  by  Don  Frederic  to  deliver  up  the  castle. 
Villcneufve  was  kept  four  months  in  the  galleys;  after  which  he  was 
confined  for  eight  months  in  the  Castel  Nuovo  at  Naples,  and  released 
on  the  7th  of  August,  1496. 

f  George  de  Sully.  Lord  of  Ccrs  and  Romefort. 

%  Claude  de  Lenoncourt,  Lord  of  Harouel,  and  Bailiff"  of  Vitry  from 
1483  to  1497. 

§  Gaiciu  d'Agucrre,  Lord  c'  Aubenton. 


186  THE    MEMOIRS    OF    PHILIP   DE    COMMINES.  [1495. 

them  than  tins  ;  for,  under  pretence  of  friendship,  he  carried 
prisoners  with  him  the  Lord  Virgil  Ursini  and  the  Count  de 
Petillane,  and  several  others  of  the  Ursini  who  were  their 
enemies  ;  which,  indeed,  was  a  little  severe,  for,  though  they 
were  prisoners  of  war,  yet  the  king  knew  they  were  to 
have  had  passports.  But  his  intention  was  to  carry  them  no 
farther  than  Asti,  and  then  to  dismiss  them  upon  their 
pnrole  of  honour.  This  he  did  at  the  request  of  the 
Colonne ;  and  yet,  before  he  could  get  thither,  the  Colonne 
revolted,  and  appeared  the  first  against  him  without  the  least 
pretence  or  occasion. 


Jb.  IT. — How  the  King  departed  from  Naples,  and  returned  to  Rome, 
from  whence  the  Pope  fled  to  Orvieto;  of  the  Conference  the  King 
had  with  the  Lord  of  Argenton  upon  his  Return  from  Venice  ;  and 
his  Deliberation  about  the  Restitution  of  the  Florentine  Towns. — 1495. 

As  soon  as  the  king  had  settled  his  affairs  as  he  designed, 
he  began  his  march  with  what  forces  he  could  collect, 
which,  I  believe,  were  about  nine  hundred  men-at  arms  (  in- 
cluding his  guards),  and  two  thousand  five  hundred  Swiss  ; 
in  all,  of  his  standing  army  about  seven  thousand  men, 
besides  about  fifteen  hundred  more  who  followed  the  camp 
as  servants,  and  were  able  to  bear  arms.  The  Count  de 
Petillane,  who  had  reviewed  them,  and  knew  their  number 
better  than  I  did,  told  me  after  the  battle  (of  which  I  shall 
speak  presently)  that  they  were  nine  thousand  effective 
men.  The  king  bent  his  march  directly  towards  Rome  *, 
where  his  Holiness,  having  no  mind  to  attend  him,  deter- 
mined to  go  to  Padua,  and  put  himself  under  the  protection 
of  the  Venetians,  and  lodgings  were  prepared  for  him  in 
that  city  ;  but  afterwards  they  changed  their  minds,  and 
both  they  and  the  Duke  of  Milan  sent  forces  to  him  to  Rome 
for  the  defence  of  the  town,  which  arrived  in  time  enough  ; 
yet  the  Pope  durst  not  stay,  though  the  king  had  done  him 

*  He  left  Naples  on  the  20th  of  May,  1495,  and  enterei  Rome  on  the 
1st  of  June  following. 


1495.]  FLIGHT   OF   THE   POPE   TO  OKVIETO.  187 

all  imaginable  honour  and  service,  and  had  sent  ambassadors 
on  purpose  to  desire  him  to  stay  ;  but  he  retired  to  Orvieto, 
and  from  thence  to  Perusia,  leaving  the  cardinals  to  receive 
his  majesty  at  Rome.     The  king  was  received  very  honour- 
ably by  them  ;  but  he  made  no  stay  among  them,  nor  suffered 
the  least  injury  to  be  done  to  anybody.     From  thence  I  was 
sent  for  to  attend  him  at  Siena*,    where  I  waited  on  his 
majesty,  who  received  me  graciously.     He  asked   me,  in  a 
jesting  way,  whether  the  Venetians  had  sent  any  forces  to 
fall  upon   his  rear  ;  for  his  men  were  all  young,   and  he 
thought  no  troops  were  able  to  engage  with  them.      I  hum- 
bly replied  that  upon  my  leaving  Venice  the   Signory  in- 
formed me,  in  the  presence  of  one  of  their  secretaries  called 
Loredano,  that  they  and  the  Duke  of  Milan  would  bring 
forty  thousand  men  into  the  field,  not  to  molest  him,  but  to 
defend  themselves  ;  and  on  the  day  I  set  out  from  Venice 
they  ordered   one  of  their  proveditors  who  was  employed 
against  us  to  inform  me,   at  Padua,  that  their  army  should 
not  pass  a  river  near  Parma  (which,  if  I  mistake  not,    is 
called  the  Oglio),  unless  his  majesty  invaded  the  Duke  of 
Milan ;  and  the  said  proveditor  and  I  took  private  tokens 
and  directions  how  we  might  correspond  with  each  other,  if 
there  should  be  any  occasion,  to  make  a  treaty  of  peace  ;  for 
I    was   unwilling    to   refuse    any  overture   of  that   nature, 
because  I  knew  not  how  my  master's  affairs  might  succeed. 
There  was  present  at  our  conference  one  Monsieur  Lewis 
Marcel,  who  (as  a  kind  of  treasurer)  had  that  year  the  com- 
mand of  the  Mots  Vieref,   and   had  been  sent  by  them  to 
escort    me.     There  were  besides  in  the  company  some  of 
the  Marquis  of  Mantua's  servants,  who  were  carrying  him 
money  ;  but  they  were  at  a  distance,  and  heard  nothing  of 
our  discourse.     From   these  or  others   I   procured   for  the 
king  a  list  of  the  confederate   army,  their  horse,  foot,  and 
Stradiots,  and  the  chief  officers  that  commanded  them  all; 
but  few  about  the  king  believed  what  I  told  him. 

After  the  king  had  halted  two  days  at  Siena  to  refresh  his 

*  The  king  reached  Sienna  on  Saturday,  the  13th  of  June,  1495. 

f  It  is  so  in  all  the  French  copies;  but  certainly  it  should  be  Mcnt 
Vied,  in  Italian  Monte  Vecchio,  which  is  a  certain  treasure  set  apart  by 
the  Venetians  for  the  payment  of  interest  due  to  the  ancient  creditors  it 
their  republic,  as  appears  by  the  book  of  Douato  Gianotti. 


183  THE    MEMOIRS    OF    PHILIP    PE    COMMINES.  [1195. 

troops,  I  earnestly  pressed  his  majesty  to  march  onward,  for 
the  enemy  were  not  yet  together,  and  I  feared  nothing  till 
the  Germans   came    up  ;  for   the   King   of  the  Romans  was 
busily  raising  both  men  and  money.     But,  notwithstanding 
all  I  siid  to  the  contrary,  the  king  would  have  two  things 
first  solemnly  debated  in  council,  which  took  up  but  a  little 
time:  one  was,  whether  he  should  restore  all  the  Floren- 
tine towns,  and  receive  thirty  thousand  ducats  (which  was 
an  arrear  of  a  former  gift),  and  seventy  thousand  more  which 
they  offered  to  lend  him,   besides  a  reinforcement  of  thr.  e 
hundred   men-at-arms    (under    the    command    of   Francisco 
Secco,   an  experienced  and  brave  commander,    and  one  in 
whom  the  king  put  great  confidence),  and  two  thousand  foot, 
to  secure   his  passage  into   his  own  kingdom.     It  was  my 
opinion  (and  several  others  agreed  with  me)  that  the  king 
should  restore  all  but  Leghorn,  which  he  should  keep  till  he 
had  reached  Asti.     If  he  had  followed  our  advice,  he  would 
have  been  able  to  have  paid  his  army,  and  have  had  enough 
to  have  bribed  the  enemy,  and  then  he  might  have  fought 
them  as  he  pleased  ;  but  we  could  not  get  a  hearing  ;  Mon- 
sieur de  Ligny  prevented  it  (who  was  a  young  gentleman, 
and  cousin-german  to  the  king) ;  but  he  scarce  knew  why  he 
did  so,  unless  it  were  in  compassion  to  the  Pisans.  The  other 
point  to  be  debated  was  set  on  foot  by  Monsieur  de  Ligny 
himself,  and  proposed  in  council  by  one  Gaucher  de  Tinte- 
ville  *,  and  by  a  party  in  Siena  who  wished  to  have  Mon- 
sieur de  Ligny  for  their  governor ;  for  that  town  is  always 
divided  into  factions,  and  is  governed  the  worst  of  any  in 
Italy.     My  judgment  was  demanded  first,  and  I  answered 
that  I  thought  it  would  be  better  for  the  king  to  march  for- 
ward than  to  amuse  himself  with  things  of  so  litle  import- 
ance, which  could  not  be  of  any  service  to  him  for  a  week  ; 
besides,  that  town  belonged  to  the  emperor,  and  to  dispose 
of  it  in  that  manner  was  to  set  the  whole  empire  against  us. 
Everybody  agreed  with  my  opinion,  and  yet  it  was   carried 
against  us ;  and  Monsieur  de  Ligny  was  made  the  governor 
of  Siena,   with   large  promise  of  a  revenue,   but  he  never 
received  any.     This  trifling  debate  detained  us  six  or  seven 
days,  during  which  time  the  king  diverted   himself  among 

*  Gaucher  dc  Dinteville,  Lord  of  CLcnets,  and  Bailiff  of  Troyes. 


I  493. J  FR1AK   JEROME    OK    FI,OKENCE.  189 

the  ladies  ;  and  he  left  in  this  town  above  three  hundred  of 
his  choicest  troops,  to  the  great  weakening  of  his  army.  He 
then  advanced  towards  Pisa*,  by  the  way  of  Poggibonzi,  a 
castle  belonging  to  the  Florentines  ;  but  those  who  were  left 
at  Siena  were  driven  out  in  a  month. 


Ch.  III.  —Of  the  memorable  Preachings  of  Friar  Jerome  of  Florence.— 

1495. 

I  had  almost  forgotten  to  mention  that  while  I  was  at  Flo- 
rence, on  my  way  to  join  the.  king,  I  went  to  pay  a  visit  to  a 
certain  friar  called  Friar  Jerome  |,  who,  by  report,  was  a 
very  holy  man,  and  had  lived  in  a  reformed  convent  fifteen 
years.  There  went  along  with  me.  one  John  Francis  J,  a 
very  prudent  person,  and  steward  of  the  king's  household. 
The  occasion  of  my  going  to  visit  him  was  upon  the  account 
that  he  had  always,  both  in  the  pulpit  and  elsewhere,  spoken 
much  in  the  king's  favour,  and  his  words  had  kept  the  Flo- 

*  He  entered  Pisa  on  Saturday,  June  20.  1495. 

f  Girolamo  Savonarola,  a  Dominican  monk  of  Ferrara,  arrived  on 
foot  at  Florence  in  the  year  1489,  and  lodged  in  the  convent  of  St. 
Mark.  He  began  immediately  to  preach  there,  from  profound  convic- 
tion on  his  own  part,  and  with  a  talent  equal  to  his  energy,  against  the 
scandalous  abuses  which  had  been  introduced  into  the  Church  of  liome, 
and  against  the  criminal  usurpations  in  the  State,  which  had  deprived 
the  citizens  of  their  just  rights.  On  the  expulsion  of  Piero  de'  Medici, 
in  1494,  he  became  the  leader  of  the  democratic  party,  which  was  for  a 
time  successful.  Savonarola's  influence  was  now  very  great;  for  he 
was  looked  upon  by  his  party  as  a  kind  of  prophet  and  supreme 
judge.  But  the  opposition  were  not  idle  ;  they  represented  him  to 
the  people  as  an  impostor,  and  accused  him  of  heresy  at  Rome.  Pope 
Alexander  VI.  summoned  him  to  appear  before  him,  and,  in  default, 
excommunicated  him.  After  a  long  contest,  in  the  course  of  which 
Savonarola  completely  lost  his  credit  with  the  populace,  a  party  of 
his  enemies  entered  the  convent  of  St.  Mark  by  force,  and  dragged  him 
to  prison.  He  was  tried  before  a  mixed  lay  and  ecclesiastical  commis- 
si >n  appointed  by  Alexander  VI.,  and  condemned  to  death.  On  the 
23rd  of  May,  1498,  he  was  burnt  alive  in  the  public  square  of  Florence. 

\  Jean  Francois  de  Cardonne,  councillor  and  Chief  Steward  to  King 
Charles  VILL 


190  THE    MEMOIRS    OF   PHILIP   DE    COMMINES.  [1495. 

rentines  from  confederating  against  us;  for  never  any  preacher 
had  so  much  authority  in  a  city.  Whatever  had  been  said 
or  written  to  the  contrary,  he  always  affirmed  that  our  king 
would  come  into  Italy,  saying  that  he  was  sent  by  God  to 
chastise  the  tyranny  of  the  princes,  and  that  none  would  be 
able  to  oppose  him.  He  foret.uld  likewise  that  he  would  come 
to  Pisa  and  enter  it,  and  that  the  State  of  Florence  should  be 
dissolved  on  that  day.  And  so  it  fell  out ;  for  Peter  de  Medicis 
was  driven  out  that  very  day.  Many  other  things  he  pre- 
saged long  before  they  came  to  pass  :  as,  for  instance,  the 
death  of  Laurence  de  Medicis ;  and  he  openly  declared  that 
he  knew  it  by  revelation  ;  as  likewise  he  predicted  that  the 
reformation  of  the  Church  should  be  owing  to  the  sword. 
This  is  not  yet  accomplished  ;  but  it  very  nearly  occurred,  and 
he  still  maintains  that  it  shall  come  to  pass. 

Many  persons  blamed  him  for  pretending  to  receive 
divine  revelations,  but  others  believed  him ;  for  my  part  I 
think  him  a  good  man.  I  asked  him  whether  our  king 
would  return  safe  into  France,  considering  the  great  pre- 
parations of  the  Venetians  against  him,  of  which  he  gave  a 
better  account  than  I  could,  though  I  had  lately  come  from 
Venice.  He  told  me  he  would  meet  with  some  difficulties 
by  the  way,  but  he  would  overcome  them  all  with  honour, 
though  he  had  but  a  hundred  men  in  his  company  ;  for  God, 
who  had  conducted  him  thither,  would  guard  him  back  again. 
But  because  he  had  not  applied  himself  as  he  ought  to  the 
reformation  of  the  Church,  and  because  he  had  permitted  his 
soldiers  to  rob  and  plunder  the  poor  people  (as  well  those 
who  had  freely  opened  their  gates  to  him  as  the  enemy  who 
had  opposed  him),  therefore  God  had  pronounced  judgment 
against  him,  and  in  a  short  time  he  would  receive  chastise- 
ment. However,  he  bade  me  tell  him  that  if  he  would  have 
compassion  upon  the  people,  and  command  his  army  to  do 
them  no  wrong,  and  punish  them  when  they  did,  as  it  was 
his  office  to  do,  God  would  then  mitigate,  if  not  revoke,  his 
sentence  ;  but  that  it  would  not  be  sufficient  for  him  to 
plead  that  he  did  them  no  wrong  himself,  and  that  he  would 
meet  the  king  when  he  came,  and  tell  him  so  from  his  own 
mouth  ;  and  so  he  did,  and  pressed  hard  for  the  restitution 
of  the  Florentine  towns.     When  he  mentioned  the  sentence 


1495.]      THE    KING   RETAINS   PISA   AND   OTHER   TOWNS.       191 

of  God  against  him,  the  death  of  the  dauphin  *  came  very 
fresh  into  my  mind;  for  I  knew  nothing  else  that  could 
touch  the  king  so  sensibly.  This  1  have  thought  fit  to  record, 
to  make  it  the  more  manifest  that  this  whole  expedition  was 
a  mystery  conducted  by  God  Himself. 


Ch.  IV. — How  the  King  retained  Pisa  and  several  other  Florentine 
Towns  in  his  Hands,  while  the  Duke  of  Orleans  on  the  other  Side  en- 
tered Novara,  in  the  Duchy  of  Milan. — 1495. 

"While  the  king  (as  I  said  before)  was  at  Pisa,  the  people  of 
that  town,  both  men  and  women,  begged  of  us  that  for  God's 
sake  we  would  intercede  for  them  to  the  king,  that  they 
might  not  again  be  subjected  to  the  tyranny  of  the  Floren- 
tines, who,  indeed,  treated  them  very  barbarously  ;  but  they 
fared  as  well  as  their  neighbours,  who  are  subject  to  other 
States  in  Italy.  Pisa  and  Florence  had  been  at  war  for  three 
hundred  years  before  the  Florentines  subdued  them.  These 
supplications,  being  delivered  with  tears  in  their  eves, 
wrought  strangely  upon  our  soldiers  ;  so  that,  forgetting  what 
our  king  had  promised  and  sworn  before  the  altar  of  St. 
John  in  Florence,  they  all  unanimously  (including  even  the 
very  archers  and  Swiss)  interposed  in  their  behalf,  and 
threatened  all  such  as  wished  that  the  king  should  keep  his 
oath,  and  particularly  the  Cardinal  of  St.  Malo  f,  who,  in 
other  places,  I  have  called  the  General  of  Languedoc ;  and 
him  I  heard  an  archer  threaten  myself,  and  others  talked  as 
boldly  to  the  Marshal  de  Gie.  The  President  Gannay,  for 
three  nights  together,  durst  not  lie  in  his  own  quarters  ;  and 
the  great  promoter  of  all  this  was  the  Count  de  Ligny.  The 
Pisans  daily  made  their  sad  complaints  to  the  king,  and 
moved  us  all  to  compassion,  though  we  had  no  reason  to  re- 
lieve them. 

•  Charles  Orlando,  born  on  the  10th  of  October,  1402,  and   lied  on 
the  6th  of  December,  1495. 

|  Elsewhere  called  the  General  Brissonct. 


192  THE    MKMOIRS   OK    PHILIP    DE    COMMIXES  [1495 

One  day  after  dinner,  as  the  king  was  playing  at  tables 
with  the  Lord  de  Piennes,  and  only  two  or  three  of  the  gen- 
tlemen of  the  bed-chamber  waiting  on  him,  forty  or  fifty 
armed  gentlemen  of  his  household  entered  the  room,  and,  in 
the  name  of  the  rest,  the  son  of  Salh-zard  the  elder  *  made  a 
speech  to  the  king  in  favour  of  the  Pisans,  and  charged  some 
of  the  persons  above  named  of  nothing  less  than  betraying 
him ;  but  the  king  reprimanded  them  severely,  and  there 
never  was  any  such  thing  afterwards. 

Six  or  seven  days  the  king  spent  to  no  purpose  at  Pisa  ; 
and,  having  altered  the  garrison,  he  put  into  the  castle  one 
Entragues  f,  a  servant  to  the  Duke  of  Orleans,  but  an  ill* 
conditioned  man.  Monsieur  de  Ligny  had  recommended  him 
to  the  king,  and  by  his  interest  a  detachment  of  infantry  from 
Berry  was  left  with  him.  This  Entragues  managed  his 
affairs  so  well  (I  suppose  by  means  of  his  money),  that  he 
got  Pietrasanta  into  his  hands,  and  another  town  not  far  off, 
called  Mortano ;  besides  which,  he  had  another  government 
at  Librefacto,  near  Lucca.  The  castle  of  the  town  of  Sarzana, 
which  was  extremely  well  fortified  by  the  interest  of  Monsieur 
de  Ligny,  was  put  in  the  hands  of  the  bastard  of  Roussi  J,  who 
was  the  Count's  servant.  Another  castle,  called  Sarzanello, 
he  put  into  the  hands  of  one  of  his  other  servants  ;  and  the 
king  left  great  bodies  of  his  forces  in  these  places  (though 
he  will  never  have  so  much  need  of  them  again),  and  re- 
jected the  assistance  and  offers  of  the  Florentines,  who,  upon 
his  refusal,  grew  desperate.  And  yet,  before  he  left  Siena, 
lie  had  intelligence  that  the  Duke  of  Orleans  had  taken  the 
city  of  Novara  §  from  the  Duke  of  Milan  ;  and  it  was  there- 
fore certain  that  the  Venetians  would  declare  war  against 
him  ;  for  they  had  sent  him  word  that  if  he  invaded  the 
Duke  of  Milan,  they  should  be  obliged,  by  the  alliance  they 
had  lately  made,  to  assist  him  ;  and  their  army,  which  wa8 
numerous,  was  quite  ready  to  take  the  field. 

Now  you  must  understand,  that  just  upon  the  conclusion 

•  Louis  de  Salazar,  Lord  of  Asnoi. 

f  Robert  de  Balsac,  Lord  of  Entragues. 

j  Antoine  de  Luxembourg,  Bastard  of  Brienne,  son  of  Antoine  de 
Luxembourg,  Count  of  Roussy,  and  nephew  of  the  Count  de  Ligny. 

§  Novara  opened  its  gates  to  the  Luke  of  Orleans  on  the  1  ub.  of 
June,  1 195. 


l-*9o.]      THE   DUKE   OF   ORLEANS   ENTERS   NOVARA.  193 

of  the  league,  the  Duke  of  Milan  had  a  design  upon  Asti, 
supposing  he  should  have  found  no  troops  in  it.  But  my 
letters  prevented  him,  and  hastened  the  supplies  which  the 
Duke  of  Bourbon  sent  thither;  and  first  there  arrived  forty 
lances  of  the  Marshal  de  Gie's  troops,  who  had  been  left 
behind  in  France,  all  very  well  appointed ;  and  after  them 
five  hundred  foot  from  the  Marquis  di  Saluzzo.  The  arrival 
of  these  forces  diverted  the  Duke  of  Milan's  army,  com- 
manded by  Galeas  di  St.  Severino,  who  was  posted  at 
Annone,  a  castle  belonging  to  the  said  duke,  within  two  miles 
of  Asti.  Some  time  after  they  were  joined  by  three  hundred 
and  fifty  men-at-arms,  and  gentlemen  of  Dauphiny,  and  all 
the  Frank-Archers  of  that  country,  and  about  two  thousand 
Swiss ;  so  that  they  were  in  all  fully  seven  thousand  five 
hundred  fighting  men.  It  was  a  prodigious  expense  and 
trouble  to  assemble  these  forces,  and  when  that  was  done, 
they  did  not  answer  the  end  for  which  they  were  designed  -• 
for  they  were  sent  for  to  have  assisted  the  king,  and  instead 
of  that  he  was  forced  to  support  them.  The  king  had  writ- 
ten to  the  Duke  of  Orleans  and  his  chief  officers  that  they 
should  attempt  nothing  against  the  Duke  of  Milan,  but  only 
have  a  care  to  secure  Asti,  and  come  to  meet  his  majesty  as 
far  as  the  river  Tesino,  where  they  were  to  assist  and  favour 
his  passage,  there  being  no  other  river  where  he  could  be 
stopped  ;  for  the  Duke  of  Orleans  had  been  left  at  Asti,  and 
had  gone  no  further  with  the  king.  However,  notwith- 
standing the  king's  orders  to  the  contrary,  he  was  so  pleased 
with  the  honour  of  having  Novara  delivered  into  his  hands 
(which  was  but  ten  leagues  from  Milan)  that  he  could  not 
contain  himself,  but  entered  it  in  a  triumphal  manner  ;  and 
the  whole  city,  both  Guelphs  and  Gibellines,  received  him 
with  all  imaginable  demonstrations  of  joy;  and  the  Mar- 
chioness of  Montferrat  was  a  great  instrument  in  carrying 
out  the  plot.  The  castle  held  out  two  or  three  days ;  but  if 
in  the  meanwhile  he  had  gone  or  sent  to  Milan,  where  his 
party  was  strong,  he  would  have  been  received  with  more 
joy  (as  I  have  been  told  by  many  great  persons  of  that 
duchy)  than  ever  greeted  him  at  his  own  castle  at  Blois  ;  and 
during  the  first  three  days  he  might  have  done  it  with  ease,, 
for  the  Duke  of  Milan's  forces  were  at  Annone,  near  Asti, 

VOL.    II.  O 


194  THE    MEMOIRS   OF   PHILIP   T>E    COMMINES.  "1 496. 

when  Novara  was  surprised,  and  came  not  up  till  four  days 
after ;  but  perhaps  he  durst  not  rely  upon  the  information 
he  received. 


Ch.  V. — How  King  Charles  crossed  several  dangerous  Passages  over  the 
Mountains  between  Pisa  and  Sarzana;  and  how  the  Germans  burned 
Pontremoli. — 1495. 

From  Siena  the  king  was  come  to  Pisa,  as  you  have  already 
heard,  and  from  Pisa  he  marched  to  Lucca,  where  he  was 
well  received  by  the  townsfolk,  and  stayed  with  them  two 
days ;  and  from  thence  he  went  to  Pietrasanta,  where  Mon- 
sieur Entragues  was  governor ;  and  neither  he  himself,  nor 
any  that  were  about  him,  had  the  least  fear  or  apprehension 
of  the  enemy.  Yet  he  found  great  difficulty  in  his  march 
over  the  mountains  betwixt  Lucca  and  that  place,  where 
there  were  several  passes  very  easy  to  have  been  defended 
by  small  bodies  of  foot ;  but  the  confederates  were  not  assem- 
bled as  yet.  Not  far  from  Pietrasanta,  on  one  side  there  is 
the  pass  of  Seierre,  or  Salto  della  Cerva,  and  on  the  other 
that  of  Roctaille,  or  Rotaio,  with  a  deep  marsh  at  the  foot 
of  it,  over  which  we  were  forced  to  march  upon  a  causeway, 
as  if  it  had  been  through  a  standing  pool.  This  was  the 
pass  of  which  I  had  heard  so  much,  and  which  I  dreaded  more 
than  all  the  rest  between  Pisa  and  Pontremoli ;  for  a  small 
body  of  troops,  with  a  cart  overturned  in  the  midst  of  it,  and 
two  pieces  of  cannon,  would  have  stopped  our  passage,  and 
left  our  army  helpless.  From  Pietrasanta  the  king  marched 
to  Sarzana,  where  the  Cardinal  of  St.  Peter  ad  Vincula  met 
him,  and  offered  (if  he  pleased  to  send  some  of  his  forces 
tliither)  to  make  Genoa  revolt  to  him.  This  proposal  was 
referred  to  a  council  of  officers,  of  whom  I  was  one,  and  it 
was  concluded  by  all  that  it  should  not  be  attempted ;  for  if 
the  king  got  the  victory,  Genoa  would  surrender  of  course ; 
and  if  he  lost  the  battle,  it  would  do  him  no  good  ;  and  this 
was  the  first  time  we  ever  heard  fighting  mentioned.  Our 
resolution  was  reported  to  the  king ;  but  for  all  that,  he  sent 


1495.]  UNSUCCESSFUL    ATTEMPT  ON   GENOA.  195 

thither  the  Lord  de  Bresse  (since  Duke  of  Savoy),  the  Lord 
de  Beaumont  de  Polignac*,  ray  brother-in-law,  and  the  Lord 
d'Aubijouxf,  of  the  house  of  Araboise,  with  six-score  men 
at-arms,  and  five  hundred  archers,  newly  sent  him  by  sea 
out  of  France.  I  wondered  that  a  prince  of  his  age  should 
not  have  one  minister  of  state  about  him  that  durst  be  plain 
with  him,  and  tell  him  the  dangers  to  which  he  exposed  hia 
person  ;  but  indeed  he  put  no  confidence  in  what  I  said. 

We  had  a  few  forces  at  sea,  which  came  from  Naples, 
under  the  command  of  Monsieur  de  Miolans,  Governor  of 
Dauphiny,  and  one  Stephen  de  Neves,  of  Montpelier ;  they 
were  in  all  about  eight  galleys,  and  were  arrived  at  Spezzia  and 
Rapalo,  where  they  were  defeated  at  the  time  I  speak  of,  and  in 
the  same  place  where  our  men  had  beaten  King  Alphonso's 
forces  in  the  beginning  of  this  expedition,  and  by  the  same 
party  who  had  been  on  our  side  at  that  battle  (that  is  to  say, 
Signor  John  Lewis  di  Fieschi,  and  Signor  John  Adorno);  and 
everything  was  changed  in  Genoa.  It  had  been  better  manage- 
ment to  have  had  them  on  the  king's  side,  though  that  would 
have  been  little  enough.  Monsieur  de  Bresse  and  the  Cardinal 
advanced  into  the  suburbs  of  Genoa,  expecting  their  party 
in  the  town  would  rise  in  their  favour;  but  the  Duke  of  Milan 
had  taken  care  to  prevent  any  insurrection  ;  and  the  Adorni 
and  Signor  John  Lewis  di  Fieschi  had  given  such  orders 
about  the  affair  that  our  forces  were  in  great  danger  of  being 
handled  as  they  had  been  at  sea,  considering  the  smallness 
of  their  numbers;  nor  did  anything  prevent  it  but  the  fear 
the  prevailing  party  in  Genoa  had,  that  if  they  sallied  out  of 
the  town,  the  Fregosi  would  rise  up  in  arms  and  shut  the 
gates  upon  them ;  however,  our  men  met  with  difficulty 
enough  before  they  got  to  Asti  ;  and  they  were  not  at  the 
battle,  where  they  might  have  been  more  serviceable  and 
better  employed. 

From  Sarzana  the  king  marched  on  towards  Pontremoli, 
which  he  was  forced  to  pass,  it  being  the  entrance  into  the 

•  John  de  Polignac,  Lord  of  Beaumont  and  Randan.  He  married 
Jeanne  de  Chambes,  eldest  sister  of  Helene  de  Charabes,  wife  of  Philip 
de  Commines. 

f  Hugh  d'Amboise,  Baron  of  Aubijoux,  brother  to  the  famous  Car- 
dinal George  d'Amboise.  He  was  killed  iu  the  battle  of  JUuriguan,  ia 
1515. 


196  THE   MEMOIRS   OF   PHILIP   DE   COMMINES.  [1495. 

niountaics.  The  town  and  castle  were  strong,  and  the  country 
about  them  almost  inaccessible;  and  had  they  been  wel. 
garrisoned,  they  could  never  have  been  taken  ;  but  it  seemed 
as  if  what  Friar  Jerome  told  me  proved  true,  that  God  would 
lead  him,  as  it  were,  by  the  hand,  till  he  was  out  of  all  danger ; 
for  the  enemy  were  blind  and  stupid,  and  had  not  put  above 
three  or  four  hundred  men  to  defend  that  important  pass. 
The  king  sent  his  vanguard  to  Pontremoli,  under  the  com- 
mand of  the  Marshal  de  Gie  and  Signor  John  James  di  Tri- 
vulce,  whom  he  had  entertained  in  his  service  ever  since 
King  Ferrand's  flight  out  of  Naples.  This  Trivulce  was  a 
gentleman  of  Milan,  of  a  noble  family,  a  good  officer,  a 
worthy  man,  and  a  great  enemy  to  the  Duke  of  Milan,  for 
he  had  been  banished  by  him  ;  and  by  his  means  the  place 
was  presently  delivered  without  an  assault,  and  the  garrison 
marched  out.  But  a  great  inconvenience  ensued  upon  this  ; 
for,  as  I  have  already  mentioned,  when  the  Duke  of  Milan 
was  there  last,  there  happened  a  dispute  between  the  towns- 
men and  some  of  the  Germans  (forty  of  whom  were  slain  by 
the  townsmen),  so  that  the  Swiss,  in  revenge,  and  contrary 
to  their  articles,  now  put  all  the  men  to  the  sword,  plundered 
the  town,  set  fire  to  it,  and  burned  it  and  all  the  magazines, 
with  about  ten  of  their  own  men,  who,  being  drunk,  could 
not  escape,  and  it  wras  not  in  the  Marshal  de  Gie's  power  to 
prevent  it.  After  they  had  committed  this  outrage,  they 
besieged  the  castle,  in  order  to  have  used  those  who  were  in 
it  after  the  same  manner,  though  the  garrison  consisted  of 
none  but  Signor  John  James  di  Trivulce's  troops,  who  had 
been  put  into  it  when  the  enemy  marched  out  ;  neither  would 
they  give  over  their  attack  till  the  king  himself  sent  to  com- 
mand them  to  desist.  The  destruction  of  this  place  was  a 
great  inconvenience  to  the  king,  as  much  for  the  dishonour 
it  brought  on  us  as  for  the  provisions  that  were  spoiled,  of 
which  there  was  great  plenty,  and  we  were  in  extremity  of 
want,  though  the  people  were  not  much  against  us,  excepting 
only  those  about  the  town,  who  had  suffered  more  particu- 
larly. But  if  the  king  had  hearkened  to  the  overtures  made 
him  by  Signor  John  James  di  Trivulce,  several  places  and 
persons  of  importance  would  have  surrendered  and  allied 
themselves  to  him;  for  he  advised  him  to  set  up  the  young 
4uke's   standard,  who  was   son  of  John   Galeas,  the   last 


149-5.]  THE   DUKE   OF   ORLEANS   AT   NOVARA.  19? 

Duke  of  Milan,  that  lies  buried  at  Pavia,  as  you  have  heard  ; 
which  young  duke  was  in  the  Lord  Ludovic's  power. 
But  the  king  would  not  be  persuaded  to  do  it,  out  of  kind- 
ness to  the  Duke  of  Orleans,  who  laid  claim  to  the  duchy. 
After  this  the  king  marched  from  Pontremoli,  and  encamped 
iii  a  small  valley,  where  there  were  not  ten  houses,  and  the 
name  of  which  I  have  forgotten.  He  lay  in  that  camp  five 
days  (I  know  not  why),  with  his  army  in  great  distress  for 
provisions,  and  the  main  body  thirty  miles  behind  the  van- 
guard, with  high  and  steep  rocks  all  around,  where  such  great, 
cannon  had  never  been  seen  till  then ;  for  those  with  which 
Duke  Galeas  had  passed  that  way  were  but  four  falconets, 
which  perhaps  weighed  five  hundred  pounds  a-piece,  and  yet 
the  people  regarded  them  with  infinite  wonder. 


Ch.  VL — How  the  Duke  of  Orleans  behaved  himself  in  the  City  of 

Novara. — 1495. 

But  to  return  now  to  the  Duke  of  Orleans.  As  soon  as  he 
had  taken  the  Castle  of  Novara,  he  lay  still  for  some  days, 
and  then  marched  to  Vigevano.  Two  little  towns  *  hard 
by  sent  to  him  and  offered  to  receive  his  troops ;  but  he 
wisely  refused  the  overtures  they  made  him.  The  citizens 
of  Pavia  sent  twice  to  him  likewise,  and  certainly  he  was 
mightily  to  blame  in  refusing  their  offer.  However,  he 
drew  up  in  battle  array  before  the  town  of  Vigevano,  where 
the  Duke  of  Milan's  whole  army  was  encamped,  and  com- 
manded by  the  sons  of  Galeas  St.  Severino,  whom  I  have  so 
often  mentioned  before.  The  town  is  worth  nothing,  not  a 
jot  better  than  St.  Martin  de  Cande.  f  I  came  thither  not 
long  after  the  Duke  of  Milan  had  been  there,  and  the  chief 
officers  who  were  there  showed  me  the  places  where  their 
armies  had  been  drawn  up,  both  within  and  without  the 
town ;    and  if  the    Duke  of  Orleans  had  advanced   but  a 

•  Mortara  and  Correano. — Guazzo,  160. 
•f  Candcs,  a  small  town  in  the  Department  of  Indre-et-Loire. 

C   8 


198  THE   MEMOIRS   OF   PHILIP   DE   COMMUTES.        [1495. 

hundred  paces  farther,  the  enemy  must  have  retreated  over 
the  river  Tesino,  where  they  had  made  a  large  bridge  of  boats, 
and  were  drawn  up  on  the  bank ;  and  I  saw  them  demolish 
an  earthwork  which  they  had  made  on  the  other  side  to  se- 
cure their  retreat ;  for  they  had  resolved  to  quit  both  the 
town  and  the  castle,  which  would  have  been  a  great  disad- 
vantage to  them.  This  is  the  place  where  the  Duke  of 
Milan  generally  resides,  and  indeed  it  is  the  best  seat  for 
hunting  and  hawking,  and  all  kinds  of  sports,  that  I  ever 
yet  saw. 

But  perhaps  the  Duke  of  Orleans  thought  the  town 
stronger  than  it  really  was,  and  that  he  had  done  enough 
already,  without  attempting  anything  farther;  and  therefore 
he  marched  off  to  a  place  called  Trecate,  the  lord  of  which 
place  had  a  conference  with  me  not  long  after,  and  had  some- 
thing in  charge  from  the  Duke  of  Milan.  To  this  town  of 
Trecate  the  chief  citizens  of  Milan  sent  to  invite  the  Duke 
thither,  and  tempt  him  into  their  town,  offering  their 
children  as  hostages  ;  and  they  could  easily  have  put  him 
into  possession  of  it,  as  I  have  been  credibly  informed  since 
by  persons  of  great  authority  who  were  there  at  that  time  ; 
for  the  Duke  of  Milan  would  not  have  found  men  enough  to 
have  defended  the  castle,  and  the  nobility  and  commons  both 
desired  the  destruction  of  the  house  of  Sforza.  The  Duke 
of  Orleans  also,  and  his  men,  have  told  me  the  same,  but 
they  durst  not  trust  the  citizens  ;  and  they  wanted  a  person 
that  understood  them  and  their  ways  better  than  they  did  ; 
besides,  his  great  officers  were  not  all  of  the  same  opinion 
in  relation  to  that  affair. 

A  body  of  two  thousand  Germans  sent  by  the  King  of  the 
Romans,  and  about  a  thousand  German  horse  under  the  com-, 
mand  of  Monsieur  Frederic  Capelare,  a  native  of  the  county 
of  Ferrette,  now  joined  the  Duke  of  Milan's  army.  With 
this  reinforcement  Galeas  and  the  rest  of  the  officers  were  so 
mightily  encouraged  that  they  marched  directly  to  Trecate, 
and  offered  the  Duke  of  Orleans  battle ;  but  he  was  advised 
not  to  fight,  though  his  army  was  more  numerous  than 
theirs.  Perhaps  his  officers  were  unwilling  to  hazard  their 
army,  lest  the  loss  of  a  battle  should  be  the  ruin  of  the 
kin£,  of  whom  they  could  get  no  intelligence,  because  the 
couriers  were  all  stopped.     Upon  this  the  Duke  of  Orleans 


1495.]  THE   KING   PASSES   THE   APENNINES.  199 

retreated  with  his  whole  army  to  Novara,  having  with  great 
indiscretion  neglected  the  favourable  opportunity  of  sup- 
plying the  town  with  provisions,  or  preserving  as  they  ought 
what  was  already  in  their  magazines,  though  they  might 
have  got  enough  at  that  time  in  the  country  round  about 
without  money  ;  but  when  they  wanted  it  afterwards,  the 
enemy  was  within  half  a  league  of  the  town. 


Ch.  VII. — How  the  King  passed  the  Apennine  Mountains  with  his 
Train  of  Artillery,  by  the  Assistance  of  the  Swiss;  and  of  the  great 
Danger  to  which  the  Marshal  de  Gie  and  his  whole  Vanguard  were 
exposed. — 1495. 

We  left  the  king  encamped  in  a  valley  on  this  side  Pon- 
tremoli,  in  great  want  of  provisions,  and  yet  he  stayed  there 
five  days  without  any  manner  of  necessity  for  doing  so.  Our 
Swiss,  who  had  committed  the  great  fault  at  Pontremoli*, 
did  us  a  singular  piece  of  service  at  this  time  ;  they  were 
fearful  their  crime  would  give  the  king  a  displeasure  against 
them,  and  that  his  majesty  would  never  endure  them  more ; 
and  therefore,  to  atone  for  what  was  past,  they  came  to  him 
of  themselves,  and  offered  to  convey  his  great  guns  over 
those  almost  impassable  mountains  (and  well  I  may  call 
them  so,  for  their  height  and  steepness),  where  there  was  no 
track  or  path  to  direct  them.  I  have  seen  most  of  the  chief 
mountains  both  in  Italy  and  Spain,  but  none  of  them  are  to 
be  compared  to  these  ;  and  this  offer  the  Swiss  made  upon  con- 
dition the  king  would  forgive  them,  which  he  did.  Our 
train  consisted  of  fourteen  extraordinary  great  guns.  At 
the  farther  end  of  the  valley  we  began  to  climb  up  a  very 
steep  path,  where  our  mules  could  scarce  get  up ;  but  these 
Swiss  corded  themselves  two  and  two  abreast,  and  drew  a 
hundred  and  sometimes  two  hundred  in  a  company,  till  they 
were  weary,  and  then  they  were  relieved  by  as  many  more ; 
besides  these,  there  were  the  horses  belonging  to  the  artil- 
lery, and  every  one  of  the  courtiers  who  had  any  carriage, 

*  Sec  Chapter  V.,  p.  196 
O  4 


200  THE   MEMOIRS   OF   PniLIP  DE   COMMINES.        [149& 

lent  a  horse  to  hasten  their  passage  ;  but  had  it  not  been 
for  these  Swiss,  the  horses  would  never  have  done  it ;  and 
to  speak  truth,  they  helped  over  not  only  the  artillery,  but  the 
whole  army ;  for  had  it  not  been  for  them,  not  a  man  could 
have  passed  the  mountains ;  wherefore  they  were  well  as- 
sisted ;  and  besides,  they  had  as  great  a  desire  to  be  over  as 
the  rest  of  the  army ;  they  had  committed  many  faults,  but 
this  good  action  did  more  than  sufficiently  atone  for  all. 
However,  the  greatest  part  of  the  difficulty  was  not  to  get 
the  artillery  up  ;  for  as  soon  as  our  men  were  at  the  top,  they 
saw  great  deep  valleys  below  them,  to  which  there  was  no 
way  but  what  nature  had  prepared ;  so  that  our  horses  and 
men  were  forced  to  draw  backward,  and  the  letting  the  guns 
down  was  infinitely  more  trouble  than  the  hauling  them 
up  ;  and  besides,  the  smiths  and  the  carpenters  were  forced 
to  be  constantly  by  ;  for  if  any  of  the  guns  slipped,  they  had 
to  be  mended  before  they  could  go  on.  Many  advised  the 
king,  for  expedition's  sake,  to  break  up  his  great  guns,  but 
he  would  by  no  means  consent  to  it. 

The  Marshal  de  Gie  was  thirty  miles  before  us,  and 
pressed  the  king  to  hasten  his  march  ;  and  yet  it  was  three 
days  before  we  could  reach  1dm,  and  by  that  time  the  enemy 
was  come  within  sight.  Their  army  was  encamped  in  a 
large  field  about  half  a  league  from  him  ;  and  if  they  had 
attacked  him,  he  would  certainly  have  been  defeated.  The 
marshal  afterward  took  up  his  quarters  at  Fornovo,  a  strong 
town  at  the  entrance  into  the  plain,  and  this  he  did  to  keep 
the  enemy  from  assaulting  us  on  the  mountains  ;  but  we  had 
a  better  guardian  than  he  to  protect  us,  for  God  put  other 
thoughts  into  the  heads  of  our  enemies,  and  so  blinded  their 
understandings  with  avarice  that  th«y  were  resolved  to  wait 
for  our  coming  into  the  plain,  that  nothing  might  escape 
them;  for  they  thought  if  they  should  attack  us  upon  the 
mountains  we  might  retreat  to  Pisa,  or  some  of  the  towns 
we  had  in  the  territory  of  Florence  ;  but  they  were  mis- 
taken, for  those  places  were  too  remote ;  and  if  they  had 
beaten  us,  they  might  have  pursued  as  fast  as  we  could 
have  fled,  and  they  would  have  had  the  advantage  of  know- 
ing the  country  better  than  we. 

Thus  far  on  our  side  the  war  was  not  begun  ;  but  the 
Marshal  de  Gie  sent  the  king  word  that  he  had  passed  the 


1495.]  SKIRMISHES   WITH   THE    ESTRADIOTS.  201 

mountains,  and  that  having  sent  out  a  party  of  forty  horse  to 
reconnoitre  the  enemy,  they  had  been  charged  by  the  Estra- 
diots,  and  one  of  them  (called  Lebeuf)  being  slain,  the  Estra- 
diots  cut  otf  his  head,  put  it  upon  the  top  of  a  lance,  carried  it 
to  their  proveditor,  and  demanded  a  ducat.  These  Estradiots 
are  of  the  same  nature  with  the  Genetaires  *  ;  they  are  horse 
and  foot,  and  habited  like  Turks,  only  they  wear  no  turbans 
upon  their  heads.  They  are  hardy  people,  and  lie  abroad 
all  the  year  round  with  their  horses ;  they  were  all  Greeks, 
from  the  places  which  the  Venetians  possess  in  those  parts, 
some  of  them  from  Naples  andliomagna  and  the  Morea,  others 
from  Albania  and  Durazzo.  Their  horses  are  all  Turkish, 
and  very  good  ;  the  Venetians  employ  them  often  in  their 
wars,  and  put  great  confidence  in  them.  I  saw  them  all  upon 
their  first  landing  at  Venice,  and  they  mustered  in  the  island 
where  the  abbey  of  St.  Nicholas  is  built,  and  their  number 
was  near  fifteen  hundred;  they  are  stout,  active  fellows,  and 
will  plague  an  army  terribly  when  they  once  undertake  it. 

These  Estradiots,  as  I  said  before,  having  beaten  our 
party,  pursued  them  to  the  marshal's  quarters,  where  the 
Swiss  were  posted,  of  whom  they  killed  three  or  four,  and 
carried  away  their  heads  according  to  their  custom.  For 
the  Venetians,  having  been  at  war  against  the  Turks  for- 
merly, in  the  time  of  Mahomet,  the  present  Turk's  father, 
Sultan  Mahomet  would  not  suffer  his  soldiers  to  give  quarter, 
but  allowed  them  a  ducat  for  every  head,  and  the  Venetians 
did  the  same.  My  opinion  is  they  did  it  on  purpose  to 
terrify  us,  and  indeed  so  they  did ;  but  the  Estradiots  them- 
selves were  no  less  affrighted  with  our  artillery ;  for  a  shot 
from  a  falconet  having  killed  one  of  their  horses,  they  retired 
with  great  precipitation  ;  but  in  their  retreat  they  took  one 
of  our  Swiss  captains,  who  had  gotten  on  horseback  to  watch 
their  retreat,  and,  being  unarmed,  was  run  through  the  body 
with  a  lance.  This  captain  was  a  wise  man,  and  they  car- 
ried him  before  the  Marquis  of  Mantua  (who  was  captain- 
general  for  the  Venetians)  and  his  uncle,  the  Lord  Rodolph 
of  Mantua,  and  the  Count  di  Cajazzo,  who  commanded  for 
the  Duke  of  Milan,  and  who  knew  him  extremely  well. 

•  Spanish  light  horse,  so  coiled  from  the  jennets  which  they  rode.— 
6ee  BttANiuHE,  i.  213. 


202  THE    MEMOIRS    OP    PHILIP   DE    fiOTVfMlXES.  [1495. 

The  enemy's  army  had  taken  the  field  (at  least  all  of  them 
that  were  joined,  for  some  were  still  to  come  up)  about 
eight  days  before,  but  lay  still  in  expectation  of  their  con- 
federates ;  so  that  the  king  might  have  gone  back  into 
France  without  any  impediment  in  the  world,  had  he  not 
squandered  away  his  time  to  no  purpose  by  the  way,  as  you 
have  heard ;  but  God  had  ordered  it  otherwise. 


Ch.  VIII. — How  the  Marshal  de  Gie  withdrew  with  his  Army  to  the 
Mountains,  and  waited  until  the  King  came  up  to  him. — 1495. 

The  Marshal  de  Gie,  fearing  to  be  attacked,  retired  to  the 
mountains.  He  had  with  him  (as  he  told  me)  about  eight 
score  men-at-arms,  and  eight  hundred  Swiss,  and  no  more, 
and  from  us  he  could  not  expect  any  assistance ;  for,  by 
reason  of  our  heavy  cannon,  we  could  not  join  him  in  less 
than  a  day  and  a  half.  The  king,  in  his  march,  lay  at  the 
houses  of  two  little  marquises.  Our  vanguard,  being  posted 
upon  the  mountain,  was  awaiting  an  attack  by  the  enemy, 
whom  they  saw  drawn  up  in  order  of  battle  at  a  good  dis- 
tance in  the  plain  ;  but  God  (who  had  always  preserved  our 
army)  infatuated  our  adversaries'  understanding.  Our  Swiss 
captain,  being  examined  by  the  Count  di  Cajazzo,  who  com- 
manded their  army,  and  was  then  in  their  van,  was  asked 
what  number  of  men-at-arms  were  with  the  marshal,  though 
the  count  knew  our  strength  as  well  as  we  did  ourselves,  for 
he  had  been  with  us  during  the  whole  campaign. 

The  Swiss  magnified  our  forces,  represented  us  to  be 
much  stronger  than  we  were,  and  said  the  marshal  had  with 
him  three  hundred  men-at-arms  and  fifteen  hundred  Swiss. 
The  count  told  him  plainly  that  he  lied,  for  in  the  whole 
army  we  had  not  above  three  thousand  Swiss,  and  it  was 
improbable  we  would  send  half  of  them  in  our  van ;  upon 
which  the  captain  was  sent  prisoner  to  the  Marquis  of 
Mantua'9  tent,  where  a  council  of  war  was  called,  in  order 
to  consult  how  to  attack  us.  The  marquis  believed  what 
the  Swiss  captain  had  said,  and  urged  that  their  infantry 


1495.]  PREPARATIONS  FOR  BATTLE.  203 

were  not  so  good  as  the  Swiss;  that  all  their  forces  had  not 
joined  them  ;  that  it  would  be  a  great  injury  to  the  allies  to 
engage  without  them  ;  and  that,  if  they  should  lose  the  battle, 
the  Signory  would  have  just  reason  to  blame  their  conduct; 
that  it  would  be  better,  therefore,  to  wait  for  our  coming 
into  the  plain,  where  we  must  pass  in  front  of  them ;  and 
the  two  proveditors  being  of  the  same  opinion,  the  rest 
durst  not  oppose.  Others  affirmed,  that  if  they  routed  our 
vanguard,  the  King  must  of  necessity  be  taken  prisoner; 
but,  for  all  that,  it  was  concluded  to  await  us  in  the  plain, 
and  they  confidently  believed  that  none  of  us  could  escape. 
This  I  have  been  informed  of  since  by  the  very  persons 
whom  I  have  mentioned;  for,  afterwards,  we  discoursed 
together,  and  the  Marshal  de  Gie  and  I  had  this  relation 
from  their  own  mouths.  Upon  this  they  retired  into  the 
plain,  being  assured  that  within  a  day  or  two  the  king  must 
of  necessity  come  to  Fornovo;  and  in  the  meantime  tha 
rest  of  the  confederate  forces  arrived  in  their  camp,  and  the 
way  was  so  narrow  we  were  obliged  to  inarch  close  by 
them. 

Upon  our  descending  from  the  mountains,  we  had  a  pro- 
spect of  the  plain  of  Lombardy,  which  is  the  pleasantest  and 
Lest  country  in  the  world,  and  most  plentiful  in  everything; 
yet,  though  I  call  it  a  plain,  it  is  scarce  passable  for  horses, 
tor  it  is  as  full  of  ditches  as  Flanders,  or  rather  more,  but 
much  better,  and  more  fruitful  both  in  corn,  wine,  and 
fruit;  and  their  ground  never  lies  fallow.  It  pleased  us 
exceedingly  to  see  so  fine  a  country  after  the  famine  and 
hardships  which  we  had  suffered  since  our  departure  from 
Lucca ;  but  our  train  of  artillery  gave  us  great  trouble,  es- 
pecially to  let  down,  so  steep  and  difficult  was  the  pass.  In 
the  enemy's  camp  there  were  great  numbers  of  tents  and 
pavilions,  which  made  it  look  very  large,  and  indeed  so  it 
was.  The  Venetians  made  good  their  message  by  me  to  the 
king,  when  they  promised  that  the  Duke  of  Milan  and  they 
would  bring  forty  thousand  men  into  the  field  ;  and  if  they 
had  not  their  full  number,  they  wanted  not  much  of  it,  for 
they  were  five  and  thirty  thousand  effective  men,  and  of 
them  four-fifths  were  in  the  Venetian  pay.  They  had  at 
least  two  thousand  six  hundred  men-at-arms  barded,  every 
one  attended  by  his  bowman  on  horseback,  or  some  other 


204  THE   MEMOIRS   OF   PHILIP   DE   COMMINES.         [1495 

person  in  livery,  making  four  horses  to  every  man-at-arms. 
Their  Estradiots  and  other  light  horse  were  about  five 
thousand,  and  the  rest  were  infantry,  encamped  in  a  very 
strong  position,  and  furnished  with  a  large  train  of  artillery. 


Ch.  TX. — How  the  King  and  his  small  Army  arrived  at  Fornovo,  near 
the  Camp  of  his  Enemies,  who  awaited  him  in  very  fine  Order,  and 
with  a  Determination  to  defeat  and  capture  him. — 1495. 

The  king  descended  from  the  mountains  about  noon,  and 
took  up  his  quarters  in  Fornovo  on  the  5th  of  July,  being 
Sunday,  in  the  year  1495.  We  found  good  store  of  pro- 
vision in  the  town  both  for  our  horses  and  ourselves.  The 
people  received  us  very  kindly,  for  nobody  did  them  the 
least  injury;  they  brought  us  victuals  and  bread,  but  their 
bread  was  small  and  black,  and  they  sold  it  very  dear,  and 
their  wine  was  three  parts  water ;  they  brought  us  likewise 
some  of  their  fruits,  and  were  exceedingly  diligent  in  at- 
tending our  army.  I  ordered  them  to  bring  me  a  little  of 
everything,  which  I  had  tested  in  my  presence;  for  we  had 
great  suspicion  that  this  plenty  of  provisions  had  been  left 
there  on  purpose  to  poison  us,  so  that  at  first  nobody  touched 
them  ;  and  our  suspicion  was  much  increased  by  the  death  of 
two  of  our  Swiss,  who  were  found  dead  in  a  cellar,  having 
killed  themselves  with  excessive  drinking,  or  else  died  of 
cold  in  the  cellar ;  but  before  night  our  horses  began  to  eat, 
and  at  last  the  soldiers  followed  their  example,  and  we  re- 
freshed ourselves  very  well.  I  must  say  this  in  honour  of 
the  Italians,  that  we  never  found  that  they  endeavoured  to 
do  us  any  mischief  by  poison ;  if  they  had,  we  could  hardly 
have  secured  ourselves  in  this  march.  On  the  Sunday  (as 
I  said  before)  we  arrived  about  noon  at  Fornovo ;  most  of 
our  people  of  quality  ate  nothing  but  a  crust  of  bread  at  the 
place  where  the  king  alighted  and  drank ;  and,  indeed,  at 
that  time  there  was  little  else  to  be  got ;  for  the  provision* 
that  were  in  the  town  nobody  durst  venture  to  taste. 


1495. J  THE    KING   AND   niS   ARMY   AT    TOKNOVO.  205 

Presently  after  this  refreshment,  the  Estradiols  sallied 
out  of  their  camp,  and  dashing  up  to  our  very  army,  gave 
us  a  strong  alarm.  Our  men,  being  unacquainted  with  their 
way  of  fighting,  drew  out  into  the  field,  and  put  themselves 
into  order  of  battle,  with  a  van,  main  body,  and  rear  so  ex- 
actly well  distanced  that  they  were  not  a  bowl's  cast  one 
from  another,  so  that  upon  any  disaster  they  might  easily 
have  supported  each  other ;  but  no  action  happened  at  that 
time,  and  both  parties  retired  to  their  camps.  Our  tents 
were  but  few,  and  our  camp  extended  so  near  to  theirs  that 
twenty  of  their  Estradiots  were  enough  to  give  us  an  alarm  at 
any  time  ;  wherefore  they  lay  constantly  in  our  front,  having 
the  benefit  of  a  wood,  through  which  they  might  march 
close  up  to  us  before  they  were  discovered.  We  lay  betwixt 
two  little  hills  in  a  valley,  divided  by  a  small  river  called 
Tarrcfc  which  is  usually  fordable  on  foot,  unless  it  is  swelled 
by  the  waters  from  the  mountains,  which  fall  very  suddenly, 
and  are  as  suddenly  gone.  The  valley  in  which  we  lay 
encamped,  being  full  of  gravel  and  great  stones,  was  very 
incommodious  for  our  cavalry;  it  was  about  a  quarter  of  a 
league  in  width  ;  and  upon  the  hill  on  our  right  hand,  within 
half  a  league  of  us,  the  enemy  were  posted,  so  that  we  were 
obliged  to  pass  in  sight  of  their  whole  army,  with  only  that 
river  between  us.  On  that  side  on  which  we  were  quartered, 
beyond  the  hill  on  the  left  hand,  there  was  another  road 
which  we  might  have  taken ;  but  then  we  should  have 
seemed  to  have  been  afraid  of  them.  About  two  days  before, 
it  was  proposed  to  me  by  some  prudent  persons  in  our  army, 
who  now  began  to  be  apprehensive  of  their  danger,  that  I 
should  go  and  desire  a  parley  with  the  enemy,  and  should 
take  another  along  with  me,  to  observe  their  numbers  and 
the  situation  of  their  camp.  I  had  no  great  inclination  to 
undertake  this  duty  (and  without  a  safe-conduct  there  was 
no  going  at  all)  ;  wherefore  I  told  them  that,  at  my  de- 
parture from  Venice,  and  at  Padua,  I  had  taken  my  leave 
very  kindly  of  the  proveditors,  and  that  we  had  promised  cor- 
respondence upon  occasion,  and  therefore  I  did  not  question 
but  upon  any  overture  of  a  treaty  they  would  meet  me  half 
way;  whereas,  if  I  should  condescend  to  go  to  them,  it 
would  but  make  them  the  more  arrogant;  besides,  I  feared 
it  was  too  late. 


206  THE   MEMOIRS   OF   PHILIP   DE    COMMNES.  [1495. 

The  same  Sunday  I  wrote  to  the  proveditors  (one  of  them 
was  called  Luca  Pisani,  and  the  other  Melchior  Trivisano), 
desiring:  that,  according  to  the  agreement  between  ourselves 
at  my  departure  from  Padua,  they  would  send  me  a  passport, 
in  order  that  I  might  have  a  conference  with  them.  They 
sent  me  word  they  would  have  done  it  with  all  their  hearts, 
had  we  not  begun  a  war  against  the  Duke  of  Milan ;  how- 
ever, one  of  them  (as  they  should  agree)  would  meet  me  in 
some  place  midway  between  the  two  armies.  I  had  their 
answer  the  same  night,  but  none  of  those  who  had  influence 
with  the  king  attached  any  importance  to  it.  I  was  fearful 
of  going  too  far,  lest  they  should  have  interpreted  it  as 
cowardice ;  so  that  I  pressed  it  no  farther  that  night,  though 
I  would  willingly  have  done  anything  to  have  delivered  the 
king  and  his  army  out  of  danger,  had  I  been  able. 

About  midnight  the  Cardinal  of  St.  Malo  left  the  king ; 
and  his  tent  being  near  mine,  he  came  to  me,  and  told  me 
that  the  king  would  march  the  next  morning,  and  that  he 
was  resolved  to  pass  by  them,  and  when  he  began  to  march, 
that  he  would  fire  some  of  his  great  guns  into  their  army  by 
way  of  defiance,  and  then  march  on  in  as  good  order  as  he 
could.  I  am  of  opinion  this  was  the  Cardinal's  own  advice, 
for  he  was  ignorant  in  such  cases,  and  knew  not  what 
counsel  to  give;  and  it  had  been  much  more  prudent  in  the 
king  to  have  called  a  council  of  his  officers  and  all  the 
grave  men  about  him,  to  have  consulted  what  measures  it 
would  be  proper  to  take  in  that  exigence  of  affairs ;  but  the 
result  would  have  been  the  same,  for  in  this  very  march  I 
had  seen  many  things  concerted  in  council  with  very  great 
prudence,  but  mannged  quite  contrary  when  they  came  to 
be  executed.  I  told  the  Cardinal  that  if  we  came  so  near  as 
to  fire  into  their  camp,  they  would  certainly  come  out  and 
skirmish  with  us,  and  that  then  it  would  be  impossible  to  avoid 
a  general  battle  ;  besides,  it  did  not  consist  with  the  overture 
I  had  made,  so  that  I  was  extremely  concerned  to  hear  the 
resolution  the  king  had  taken.  However,  such  had  been 
my  condition  from  the  beginning  of  this  king's  reign,  that  I 
durst  not  object,  for  fear  I  should  disoblige  his  favourites, 
and  make  them  my  enemies ;  for  they  had,  indeed,  greater 
authority  with  him  than  they  ought  to  have  had. 

That  night  we  had  two  great  alarms,  and  all  through  our 


1495.]  ARRANGEMENTS  FOR  THE  EATTT.E  OF  FORNOVO.  207 

own  negligence,  in  not  having  taken  the  same  precautions 
to  secure  ourselves  against  the  incursions  of  the  Estradiots, 
as  we  used  to  do  against  the  light  horse ;  for  twenty  of  our 
men-at-arms,  with  their  archers,  would  easily  have  stopped 
two  hundred  of  them  ;  but  they  were  new  to  us  then.  We 
had  great  rains  that  night  also,  and  such  claps  of  thundef 
and  lightning,  as  if  heaven  and  earth  were  coming  together, 
or  that  this  was  an  omen  of  some  impending  mischief.  But 
we  were  at  the  foot  of  great  mountains,  in  a  hot  country, 
and  in  the  height  of  the  summer,  so  that  the  thing  was 
natural  enough ;  however,  it  was  very  terrible,  and  our  con- 
sternation was  increased  by  our  enemies  being  so  numerous 
before  us,  and  our  having  no  possibility  to  pass  without 
fighting  them,  which  must  be  done  to  our  great  disadvan- 
tage ;  for  our  army  was  but  small,  not  amounting  to  above 
nine  thousand  men  in  the  whole ;  and  of  these,  I  believe, 
two  thousand  were  servants,  and  such  as  followed  the  camp, 
without  reckoning  pages  and  footmen  belonging  to  the 
officers. 


Ch.  X. — The  Arrangement  of  the  two  Armies  for  the  Battle  of  For- 

novo. — 1495. 

On  Monday  morning,  the  6th  of  July,  in  the  year  1495,  by 
seven  o'clock,  the  noble  king  mounted  on  horseback,  and 
called  for  me  several  times  :  I  came  to  him,  and  found  him 
completely  armed,  and  mounted  upon  the  best  horse  I  ever 
saw  in  my  life.  The  horse  was  called  Savoy,  of  the  Bressian 
breed,  and  had  been  given  him,  according  to  common  report, 
by  Charles,  Duke  of  Savoy.  It  was  a  black  horse,  with  but 
one  eye,  of  no  extraordinary  stature,  but  tall  enough  for  him 
that  was  to  ride  him.  This  young  prince  seemed  that  day 
quite  another  person  than  what  one  would  take  him  to  have 
been  by  his  nature,  proportion,  and  complexion.  He  was 
exceeding  bashful,  especially  in  speaking,  and  is  so  to  this 
day ;  and  no  wonder,  for  he  had  been  brought  up  in  great 
Swe,  and  in  » he  company  of  inferior  people  ;  but  now,  being 


208  THE   MEMOIRS   OF   PHILIP   DE   COMMINE3.         [1495. 

mounted  on  his  horse,  his  eyes  sparkled  with  fire,  his  com- 
plexion was  fresh  and  lively,  and  all  his  words  showed 
wisdom  and  discretion, — so  that  I  could  not  hut  believe  the 
predictions  of  Friar  Jerome  (and  I  thought  of  them  at  that 
time)  when  he  told  me  that  God  would  conduct  him,  as  it 
were,  by  the  hand,  and  that  he  should  meet  with  some  diffi- 
culties in  his  return  to  his  own  dominions,  but  that  he  should 
overcome  them  all,  and  gain  immortal  honour  by  it.  The 
king  told  me  that  if  those  people  wished  to  treat,  I  might 
go  treat  with  them  ;  and  the  Cardinal  being  by,  he  nominated 
him  to  go  along  with  me,  and  also  the  Marshal  de  Gie,  who 
at  that  time  was  in  a  violent  passion,  occasioned  by  a  dispute 
between  the  Counts  of  Narbonne  and  Guise,  both  of  whom 
pretended  to  the  command  of  the  van  that  day.  I  replied, 
"  Sire,  I  shall  observe  your  commands  ;  but  I  never  saw  two 
great  armies  so  near  without  fighting  before  they  parted." 

Our  whole  army  marched  out  of  their  camp  in  good  order, 
the  battalions  being  near  one  another,  as  on  the  day  before ; 
but  yet  methought  they  did  not  make  so  fine  an  appearance 
as  those  I  had  formerly  seen  under  Charles,  Duke  of  Bur- 
gundy, and  our  king's  father  Louis  XL,  nor  indeed  were 
they  half  so  numerous.  The  Cardinal  and  I  withdrew  a 
little,  and  dictated  a  letter  to  the  two  proveditors,  which  was 
written  by  one  Monsieur  Robertet  *,  one  of  the  king's  secre- 
taries, in  whom  he  had  great  confidence.  The  substance  of 
the  letter  was,  that  it  was  the  Cardinal's  duty,  by  virtue  of 
his  quality  and  function,  to  procure  peace,  if  it  lay  in  his 
power,  and  mine  also,  as  I  had  been  ambassador  lately  at 
Venice ;  wherefore  it  would  not  be  improper  for  me  to  be  a 
mediator  now.  We  signified  to  them  that  the  king's  resolu- 
tion was  only  to  march  through  the  country  in  his  way  to 
France,  without  committing  any  hostilities  ;  and  therefore, 
if  they  desired  a  conference,  as  was  proposed  the  day  before, 
we  were  ready  to  meet  them,  and  would  employ  all  our  in- 
terest to  accommodate  matters.  By  this  time  the  fight  was 
begun,  and  there  was  skirmishing  on  all  sides.  As  we  were 
marching  on  slowly,  with  the  river  between  us,  we  came 
within  a  quarter  of  a  league  one  of  the  other,  they  being  also 

*  Florimont  "Robertet,  a  native  of  Montbrison,  was  Secretary  of  State 
ttnder  Kings  Charles  VIII.,  Louis  XII.,  aid  Francis  L 


1495.]  BATTLE  OF  FORNOVO.  209 

drawn  up  in  order  of  battle  ;  for  it  is  their  custom  to  make 
their  camp  so  large,  that  they  can  put  themselves  into  bat- 
tle array  within  it. 

They  sent  out  a  party  of  their  Estradiots  and  mounted 
bowmen,  and  some  few  men-at-arms,  who  marched  directly, 
by  private  roads,  to  the  village  of  Fornovo,  which  we  had 
just  left,  with  a  design  to  pass  the  little  river  Tarro  in  that 
place,  and  fall  upon  our  baggage-train,  which  was  very  nu- 
merous (in  all,  I  believe,  besides  waggons,  about  six  thousand 
sumpter-horses,  muies,  and  asses).  Their  army  was  drawn 
up  in  as  good  order  as  possible,  and  had  been  so  for  several 
days  before  ;  and  they  relied  much  upon  the  superiority  of 
their  forces.  They  attacked  the  king's  army  on  every  side ; 
so  that,  if  we  had  been  beaten,  not  a  man  of  us  could  have 
escaped,  considering  the  country  we  were  in,  and  that  those 
whom  I  mentioned  before  had  fallen  upon  our  baggage.  On 
the  left  hand,  there  were  the  Marquis  of  Mantua  and  his 
uncle,  the  Lord  Rodolph,  with  the  Count  Bernardino  di  Mon- 
tone  *,  and  the  flower  of  their  army,  consisting  of  six 
hundred  men-at-arms,  as  they  told  me  afterwards  ;  and  these 
charged  our  rear.  All  the  men-at-arms  were  well  barded, 
with  fine  plumes  of  feathers,  and  bourdonnasses  f ;  and  with 
their  cross-bow  men  on  horseback,  their  Estradiots,  and  their 
infantry  to  support  them.  Against  the  Marshal  de  Gie  and 
our  vanguard,  the  Count  di  Cajazzo  advanced  with  about 
four  hundred  men-at-arms  well  accoutred,  and  supported 
also  by  a  good  body  of  foot.  There  was  also  another  brigade 
of  about  two  hundred  men-at-arms,  commanded  by  the  son  J 
of  Signor  John  Bentivoglio,  of  Bologna,  a  young  gentleman 
who  had  never  been  in  battle  before  ;  and,  to  speak  tlie  truth, 
they  wanted  good  officers  as  much  as  we  did.  These  were  to 
second  the  Count  di  Cajazzo,  and  fall  upon  our  van ;  and 
there  was  also  another  squadron,  in  the  nature  of  a  reserve 
to  the  Marquis  of  Mantua's  brigade,  which  was  commanded 
by  Anthony  d'Urbino,  a  bastard  of  the  late  Duke  of  Urbino; 

•  Bernardino  de  Montone,  a  Venetian  condottiere,  and  grandson  of 
the  celebrated  Braccio  de  Montone. 

f  Bourdonnasses  were  hollow  Iannis,  curiously  painted,  and  nsed  in 
Italy  by  the  men-at-arms,  in  tournaments. 

%  Annibale  de  Bentivoglio,  who  had  been  created  Gonfalonier  of 
Justice  on  the  1st  of  November,  1489. 

vol.  n.  p 


210  THE   MEMOIRS   OF    PHILIP  DE   COMMINES.         [1495. 

and,  besides  all  these,  there  were  two  great  bodies  left  in  their 
camp.  This  I  understood  afterwards  from  themselves,  and 
the  next  day  I  saw  it  with  my  own  eyes ;  for  the  Venetians 
would  not  venture  all  at  one  stake,  nor  leave  their  baggage 
unguarded;  yet,  in  my  judgment,  they  had  done  better  to 
have  put  all  to  a  push,  since  they  were  so  far  engaged. 

I  shall  now  acquaint  you  with  what  became  of  the  letter 
which  the  Cardinal  and  I  had  sent  by  a  trumpeter.  It  was 
received  by  the  proveditors,  and  as  soon  as  they  had  read  it, 
our  great  guns  began  to  fire,  and  they  immediately  answered 
us  ;  but  their  artillery  was  not  so  good  as  ours.*  The  pro- 
veditors sent  the  trumpeter  back,  and  the  marquis  sent 
another  of  his  own  with  this  message,  that  they  would  wil- 
lingly treat,  and  if  we  would  give  over  cannonading,  they 
would  do  so  too.  I  was  then  at  a  distance  from  the  king, 
who  was  riding  up  and  down  from  rank  to  rank  :  so  1  sent 
back  the  trumpeters  to  say,  that  our  cannon  should  cease 
firing;  and  having  given  orders  to  that  purpose  to  the  mas- 
ter of  the  artillery,  both  sides  ceased  for  a  time ;  but  on  a 
sudden  they  fired  a  gun  amongst  us,  and  ours  began  to  play 
more  fiercely  than  before,  with  three  fresh  pieces  which 
we  had  levelled  against  them.  As  soon  as  our  two  trum- 
peters were  arrived  in  their  camp,  they  were  carried  to  the 
marquis's  tent,  where  it  was  solemnly  debated  whether  they 
should  treat  or  engage.  The  Count  di  Cajazzo  (as  they 
told  me,  who  were  present)  urged  that  we  were  half  van- 
quished already,  and  that  this  was  no  time  for  a  treaty ; 
and  one  of  the  proveditors  (who  told  me  the  story)  was  ot 

*  "  The  French,"  says  Mr.  Prescott,  "  in  artillery,  were  at  this  time 
in  advance  of  the  Italians,  perhaps  of  every  nation  in  Europe.  The 
Italians,  indeed,  were  so  exceedingly  defective  in  this  department  that 
their  best  field-pieces  consisted  of  small  copper  tubes  covered  with  wood 
and  hides.  They  were  mounted  on  unwieldy  carriages  drawn  by  oxen, 
and  followed  by  waggons  loaded  with  stone  balls.  These  guns  were 
worked  so  awkwardly,  that  the  besieged,  says  Guicciardini,  had  time 

between  the  discharges  to  repair  the  mischief  inflicted  by  them ' 

The  French,  on  the  other  hand,  were  provided  with  a  beautiful  train  of 
ordnance,  consisting  of  bronze  cannon  about  eight  feet  in  length,  and 
many  smaller  pieces.  They  were  lightly  mounted,  drawn  by  horses,  and 
easily  kept  pace  with  the  rapid  movements  of  the  army.  They  dis- 
charged iron  balls,  and  were  served  with  admirable  skill,  intimidating 
their  enemies  by  the  rapidity  and  accuracy  of  their  fire,  and  easily  de- 
molishing their  fortifications,  which  were  constructed  with  little  strength 
or  scieo.ee." — History  of  Ferdinand  and  Isabella,  vol.  ii,  p.  259. 


1495.]  THE    SWISS   MERCENARIES.  211 

his  judgment,  but  the  other  was  not.  The  marquis  was  of 
that  mind  too,  but  his  uncle  was  against  it;  and  being  an 
honest  and  discreet  man,  strenuously  opposed  it,  for  he  loved 
us  well,  and  served  against  us  unwillingly.  At  length  tuey 
were  unanimous  in  their  opinion  for  fighting. 


Ch.  XL — How  Parleys  were  Tainly  attempted;  and  the  Beginning  of 
the  Battle  of  Fornovo. — 1495. 

You  must  know  that  the  king  had  placed  his  greatest 
strength  in  his  van  ;  for  in  it  there  were  about  three  hun- 
dred and  fifty  men-at-arms,  three  thousand  Swiss  (the 
hopes  of  the  whole  army*),  three  hundred  archers,  and 
6ome  of  the  two  hundred  mounted  cross-bow  men  of  his  own 
guard  (which  was  a  great  loss  to  him,  as  he  ordered  them 
to  fight  on  foot).  Besides  these  we  had  very  few  foot;  but 
what  we  had  were  distributed  among  them.  There  fought 
on  foot  among  the  Swiss  the  Lord  Englebert  of  Clevest, 
brother  to  the  Duke  of  Cleves,  the  Lord  of  Lornay  J,  and  the 
bailiff  of  Dijon,  who  commanded  them ;  and  the  artillery 
was  placed  in  their  front.     The  forces  that  had  been  left  in 

*  The  Swiss  mercenaries  were  the  finest  infantry  of  that  age,  and,  by 
their  defeat  of  the  Burgundian  chivalry  at  Granson  and  Morat,  had  fully 
demonstrated  the  superiority  of  infantry  in  battle.  Their  organisation 
is  thus  described  by  Mr.  Prescott  :  '"  The  Swiss  were  formed  into 
battalions,  varying  from  3000  to  8000  men  each.  They  wore  little 
defensive  armour,  and  their  principal  weapon  was  the  pike,  eighteen 
feet  long.  Formed  into  these  solid  battalions,  which,  bristling  with 
spears  all  around,  received  the  technical  appellation  of  the  hedgehog, 
they  presented  an  invulnerable  front  on  every  quarter.  In  the  level 
field,  with  free  scope  allowed  for  action,  they  bore  down  all  opposition, 
and  received  unshaken  the  most  desperate  charges  of  the  steel-clad 
cavalry  on  their  terrible  array  of  pikes.  They  were  too  unwieldy,  how- 
ever, for  rapid  or  complicated  manoeuvres;  and  they  were  easily  discon- 
certed by  any  unforeseen  impediment  or  irregularity  of  the  ground." — 
History  of  Ferdinand  and  Isabella,  vol.  ii.  p.  258. 

f  Engilbert  de  Cleves,  Count  of  Auxerre,  and  afterwards  Count  of 
Nevers  and  Eu,  became  a  naturalised  Frenchman  in  1486,  married 
Charlotte  de  Bourbon,  and  died  on  the  21st  of  November,  1506. 

%  Louis  de  Menton,  Lord  of  Lornay,  captain  of  the  kind's  huudred 
6wiss  guards,  and  Master  of  the  Hoise  to  the  Queen. 

P  I 


212  THE    MEMOIRS    OF    PHILIP    DE    COMMINES.  [149*; 

the  territories  of  Florence,  and  those  which  had  been  sent  tc 
Genoa  against  the  judgment  of  all  people,  would  have  been 
of  very  great  service  to  us  on  this  occasion.  Our  vanguard 
had  by  this  time  marched  on  as  far  as  the  enemy's  camp, 
and  everybody  expected  they  would  have  attacked  us  ;  but 
our  two  other  bodies  were  neither  so  near  each  other,  nor  so 
well  ordered  as  on  the  day  before ;  and  because  the  Mar- 
quis of  Mantua  (who  had  already  passed  the  river,  and  en- 
tered the  plain)  was  within  a  quarter  of  a  league  of  our  rear 
ready  to  attack  them,  but  marching  slowly  on,  and  in  such 
close  order,  that  it  was  a  very  fine  sight  to  behold,  the  king 
was  forced  to  turn  his  back  upon  his  own  vanguard,  and 
face  about  to  his  enemies  at  the  rear.  I  was  at  that  time 
with  the  Cardinal,  awaiting  an  answer  ;  but  I  told  him  it 
was  no  time  to  trifle  any  longer,  and  so  I  passed  by  the 
Swiss  squadron  and  went  to  find  out  the  king.  In  my 
passage  I  lost  a  page  (who  was  my  cousin-german),  a  valet- 
de-chambre,  and  a  foot-boy,  who  followed  me  at  a  little  dis- 
tance ;  and  I  did  not  see  when  they  were  slain. 

I  had  not  come  a  hundred  paces,  when  I  heard  a  great 
noise  in  the  place  from  whence  I  came,  or  a  little  behind  it : 
it  was  the  Estradiots,  who  were  gotten  into  the  king's  quar- 
ters, where  there  were  not  above  three  or  four  houses  ;  and 
they  rifled  his  baggage,  and  killed  or  wounded  four  or  five 
men,  but  the  rest  escaped.  They  killed  altogether  about  a 
hundred  footboys  and  servants  belonging  to  our  carriages,  and 
put  our  whole  train  in  very  great  disorder.  When  I  came 
where  the  king  was,  I  found  him  making  knights.  The  enemy 
being  come  very  near  him,  he  was  obliged  to  give  over ; 
and  I  heard  Matthew  the  bastard  of  Bourbon*  (who  was  in 
great  favour  with  the  king),  and  one  Philip  du  Moulin  f  (a 
very  brave  gentleman),  call  to  the  king,  and  say,  "  On,  sir, 
on  ;  "  upon  which  he  went  to  the  head  of  the  army,  and  placed 
himself  directly  before  his  standard,  so  that  there  was  not  a 
man  that  I  saw  nearer  the  enemy,  unless  it  were  the  bastard 
of  Bourbon.     I  had  not  been  with  the  king  a  quarter  of  an 

*  Matthew,  surnamed  the  Great  Bastard  of  Bourbon,  was  a  natural 
son  of  John  II..  Duke  of  Bourbon.  On  his  return  from  Italy  he  was 
treated  Admiral  and  Governor  of  Guienne  and  Picardy;  and  he  died 
hi  1505. 

f  Philippe  du  Moulin,  Knight,  is  mentioned  as  one  of  the  member* 
pf  the  king's  council. 


1495.]  BATTLE  OF  FORNOVO.  213 

hour  before  the  enemy  were  advanced  within  a  hundred 
paces  of  his  majesty,  who  was  as  ill  guarded  and  attended  as 
any  prince  or  noble  that  I  ever  saw  ;  but  he  is  well  guarded 
who  is  guarded  by  God :  and  it  was  true  what  the  venera- 
ble Friar  Jerome  had  presaged,  who  said,  "  That  God  would 
lead  him  as  it  were  by  the  hand."  His  rear  was  posted  on  the 
right,  a  little  behind  him.  The  next  battalion  to  him  on  that 
side  was  the  Duke  of  Orleans'  troop,  consisting  of  about  eighty 
lances,  commanded  by  Robinet  de  Framezelles  *,  about 
forty  more  under  the  Sieur  de  la  Trimouille,  and  the  hundred 
Scottish  archers,  who  put  themselves  into  as  close  order  as 
if  they  had  been  men-at-arms.  I  was  on  the  left  among  the 
gentlemen  of  the  Vingt-Escusf,  the  pensioners,  and  others 
of  the  king's  household  :  I  will  not  mention  their  several 
captains  for  brevity's  sake  ;  but  the  rear  was  commanded 
by  the  Count  of  Foix. 

About  a  quarter  of  an  hour  after  my  arrival,  the  enemy, 
being  advanced  so  near  the  king  (as  you  have  heard),  began 
to  couch  their  lances,  advanced  upon  a  gentle  gallop,  and 
in  two  bodies  charged  our  two  squadrons  on  the  right 
of  them,  and  the  Scottish  archers  ;  our  men  advanced  to- 
wards them,  and  the  king  as  bravely  as  any.  On  the  left, 
where  I  was  posted,  we  charged  them  on  the  flank  much  to 
our  advantage  ;  and,  indeed,  to  say  truth,  never  charge  was 
brisker  on  both  sides.  The  Estradiots,  who  were  in  the  rear 
of  that  division,  seeing  our  mules  and  sumpter-horses  making 
with  all  speed  to  our  vanguard,  and  that  their  comrades 
were  beginning  to  plunder,  quilted  their  men-at-arms,  and 
ran  to  get  their  share  of  the  booty  ;  but  certainly,  if  fifteen 
hundred  light  horse  had  but  attacked  us  with  their  scimitars 
in  their  hands  (which  is  a  terrible  weapon),  considering  the 
smallness  of  our  number,  we  must  certainly  have  been 
beaten  ;  but  God  assisted  us,  for  no  sooner  had  they  charged 
us  with  their  lances  but  their  Italian  men-at-arms  fled,  and 
all  their  infantry,  or  the  greatest  part  of  them,  gave  ground 
also.  At  the  same  time  that  this  squadron  charged  us  the 
Count  di  Cajazzo  attacked  our  van ;  but  they  came  not  sc 

*  Robinet  de  Framezelles  was  lieutenant  to  the  Duke  of  Orleans  at 
the  capture  of  No  vara  in  1495. 

f  Part  of  the  king's  guard,  who  received  tocenty  crowns  a  month) 
whence  the  name. 

p  S 


214  THE    MEMOIKS   OF    PHILIP   DE   COJTMINES.  [1495. 

close,  for  when  they  should  have  couched  their  lances  their 
hearts  failed,  and  they  fell  into  disorder  ;  and  the  Swiss 
took  fifteen  or  twenty  of  them  in  a  company,  and  put  them 
to  the  sword:  the  rest  fled,  and  were  but  indifferently  pur- 
sued ;  for  the  Marshal  de  Gie  with  much  ado  kept  his 
forces  together,  for  he  perceived  another  great  body  of  them 
not  very  far  off.  However,  some  followed  the  chase,  and 
the  enemy  fled  over  the  ground  where  we  had  charged  along 
the  highway,  with  their  swords  only  in  their  hands  ;  for 
they  had  thrown  away  their  lances. 

But  you  must  know  that  that  brigade  which  charged  the 
king  was  warmly  pursued ;  for  all  of  us  made  after  them : 
some  of  them  fled  to  the  village  from  whence  we  were  come, 
others  made  at  the  top  of  their  speed  to  their  camp,  and  all 
of  us  after  them  :  only  the  king  stayed  behind  with  some  of 
his  troops,  and  put  himself  in  no  little  danger  by  doing  so. 
One  of  the  first  men  of  the  enemy  who  was  slain  was  the 
Lord  Rodolph  of  Mantua,  the  marquis's  uncle  (who  was  to 
have  sent  orders  to  the  Lord  Anthony  of  Urbino,  when  it 
was  time  for  him  to  advance),  for  they  thought  the  battle 
would  have  lasted  a  long  while,  according  to  the  custom  of 
Italy ;  and  the  Lord  Anthony  excused  himself  upon  that 
score,  but  I  believe  he  saw  nothing  to  encourage  him  to 
advance.  We  had  a  great  number  of  grooms  and  servants 
with  our  waggons,  who  flocked  about  the  Italian  men-at- 
arms,  when  they  were  dismounted,  and  knocked  most  of  them 
on  the  head.  The  greatest  part  of  them  had  their  hatchets 
(which  they  cut  their  wood  with)  in  their  hands,  and  with 
them  they  broke  up  their  head-pieces,  and  then  knocked  out 
their  brains  ;  otherwise  they  could  not  easily  have  killed 
them,  they  were  so  very  well  armed ;  and  to  be  sure  there 
were  three  or  four  of  our  men  to  attack  one  man-at-arms. 
The  long  swords  also  which  our  archers  and  servants  wore 
did  very  good  execution.  The  king  continued  on  the 
ground  where  he  had  been  charged,  declaring  that  he  would 
neither  follow  the  chase  nor  retire  to  our  vanguard,  which 
was  at  too  far  a  distance.  He  had  appointed  seven  or  eight 
young  gentlemen  to  attend  constantly  about  him.  He  had 
escaped  very  well  the  first  charge,  considering  how  near  he 
was  to  the  enemy  ;  for  within  twenty  paces  of  him  the  bas- 
tard of  Bourbon  was  taken  prisoner  and  carried  off  to  their 
camp. 


1495.]  VICTORY   OF   THE   FRENCH.  215 


Ch.  XII. — Consequences  of  the  Victory  gained  by  the  French  at  For- 
novo;  and  the  Danger  to  which  King  Charles  VIII.  found  himself 
exposed. — 1495. 

The  king  (as  I  said  before)  remained  in  the  same  place, 
and  so  ill  attended  that  of  all  his  squadron  he  had  none  left 
him  but  Anthony  des  Aubus,  a  gentleman  of  his  bed-cham- 
ber, a  little  man,  and  but  ill-armed ;  the  others  were  all  dis- 
persed, as  he  told  me  himself  at  night  before  their  faces,  and 
they  ought  to  have  been  ashamed  of  themselves  :  but  they 
returned  to  his  assistance  very  seasonably ;  for  a  small  party 
of  the  routed  enemy  coming  along  the  road,  and  perceiving 
it  so  thin  of  men,  fell  upon  the  king  and  the  aforesaid  gen- 
tleman of  his  bed-chamber ;  but  the  king,  by  the  activity  of  his 
horse  (which  was  the  best  in  the  world),  kept  them  at  bay 
till  others  of  his  men  came  up,  who  were  not  far  off;  and 
then  the  Italians  were  all  forced  to  fly.  Upon  this  the  king 
took  their  counsel  and  retired  to  his  van,  which  had  never 
stirred  from  its  ground.  Thus  the  king  came  off  victoriously 
with  the  main  battle,  and  if  the  van  had  advanced  but  a 
hundred  paces,  the  enemy's  whole  army  would  have  fled : 
some  said  they  ought  to  have  advanced,  and  others  that  they 
ought  not. 

Our  troops,  which  had  pursued,  followed  the  enemy  to 
their  very  camp,  which  was  extended  towards  Fornovo ;  and 
I  saw  none  of  our  men  touched  but  one  Julian  Bourgneuf, 
who  fell  down  dead  from  a  blow  that  was  given  him  by  an 
Italian  who  passed  by  him  ;  but  he  was  very  ill  armed. 
Upon  that  accident  our  men  stopped,  and  cried,  "  Let  us  re- 
turn to  the  king  ; "  and  at  that  very  word  the  whole  party 
halted  to  give  their  horses  breath,  which  had  been  very 
hard  ridden,  and  were  tired  with  the  length  of  the  way, 
which  was  full  of  sharp  stones  and  gravel.  Not  far  from  us 
we  saw  a  party  of  about  thirty  of  the  enemy's  men-at-arms 
march  along  in  retreat ;  but  we  were  in  disorder  and  suf- 
fered them  to  pass.  When  our  horses  had  taken  a  little 
breath  we  went  in  search  of  the  king,  not  knowing  where 
he  was  :  we  set  off  at  a  good  trot,  but  we  had  not  gone  far 
before  we   perceived   him   at  a  great  distance.     We  then 

r  4 


216  THE   MEMOIRS  OF   PHILIP  DE   COMMINES.  [1495. 

caused  our  servants  to  alight  and  gather  up  the  lances, 
which  lay  very  thick  upon  the  field,  and  especially  the  bour- 
donnasses ;  but  they  were  good  for  nothing,  for  they  were 
hollow  and  light,  and  weighed  no  more  than  a  javelin,  yet 
they  were  finely  painted ;  so  that  we  were  now  better  furnished 
with  lances  than  on  the  day  before,  and  marched  directly 
towards  the  king.  In  our  way  we  fell  in  with  several 
bodies  of  the  enemy's  foot,  who  were  of  the  marquis's  divi- 
sion, and  had  hid  themselves  behind  the  hills  when  he  made 
his  charge  upon  the  king.  Several  of  them  were  slain  ;  but 
others  got  over  the  river  and  escaped,  and  we  did  not  trou- 
ble ourselves  much  about  them. 

Some  of  our  men  in  the  heat  of  the  action  cried  out 
"Remember  Guynegate,"  which  was  a  battle*  we  had  lost 
in  King  Louis'  time  in  Picardy  against  the  King  of  the 
Romans,  because  our  people  fell  to  plundering  the  waggons, 
though  there  our  men  had  got  nothing  ;  but  here  their  Estra- 
diots  took  what  they  thought  good,  and  pillaged  as  they 
pleased  ;  but  they  carried  off*  only  five  and  fifty  of  our  richest 
and  best-covered  sumpters,  which  belonged  to  the  king  and 
his  chamberlains,  and  took  one  of  the  king's  gentlemen  of 
the  bed-chamber  called  Gabriel  t,  to  whose  care  were  com- 
mitted all  the  relics  and  curiosities  which  for  a  long  time  had 
belonged  to  the  kings  of  France,  and  were  then  in  the  army, 
because  the  king  was  there  in  person.  Many  other  of  our 
sumpters  and  waggons  were  overturned,  destroyed,  and  plun- 
dered by  our  own  men  ;  but  the  enemy  had  no  more  than  I  have 
already  mentioned.  We  had,  indeed,  several  pimps  and 
wenches  who  followed  the  camp  on  foot,  who  stripped  the 
dead  and  did  a  great  deal  of  mischief. 

To  speak  the  truth  (upon  impartial  information  from  both 
sides),  we  lost  only  Julian  Bourgneuf,  the  captain  of  the 
king's  gate,  nine  of  the  Scottish  archers,  one  gentleman  of 
the  household,  about  twenty  horse  of  the  vanguard,  and 
seventy  or  eighty  servants  belonging  to  our  baggage.  Qn 
their  side  they  lost  three  hundred  and  fifty  men-at-arms 
upon  the  field;  for  no  prisoners  were  taken,  which  perhaps 
never  happened  before.  Few  of  their  P^stradiots  were  slain, 
for  they  were  busy  in  plundering  when  they  should  have 

*  See  Book  VI.  Chap.  5.  for  an  account  of  this  battle. 

♦  Gabriel  de  la  Bondiniere. — Dupont,  ii.  478. 


vi495.]  LOSS   OF   THE   CONFEDERATES.  217 

6een  fighting.  In  the  whole  (as  I  have  been  informed  by 
several  of  their  nobility)  they  lost  three  thousand  five  hun- 
dred men  (others  say  more),  and  among  them  were  several 
persons  of  quality.  I  myself  saw  a  list  of  eighteen,  all  of 
them  considerable  persons,  and  among  the  rest  four  or  five 
of  the  Gonzagas,  which  is  the  name  of  the  marquis's  own 
family.  The  Marquis  of  Mantua  in  this  battle  lost  sixty 
gentlemen  of  his  own  subjects,  all  mounted  and  not  one  on 
foot  among  them.  It  is  strange  that  so  many  should  have  been 
killed  with  the  sword,  for  our  artillery  killed  not  ten  in  both 
armies,  and  the  battle  lasted  not  a  quarter  of  an  hour ;  for 
as  soon  as  the  enemy  had  broken  their  lances  they  fled,  and 
the  chase  lasted  about  three-quarters  of  an  hour.  Their 
battles  in  Italy  used  not  to  be  managed  at  this  rapid  rate  ; 
their  custom  was  to  fight  squadron  after  squadron,  and  the 
fight  lasted  sometimes  a  whole  day  together,  without  either 
side  winning  the  victory. 

The  rout  was  great  on  their  side  :  three  hundred  of  their 
men-at-arms,  and  most  of  their  Estradiots  fled,  some  to  Reg- 
gio  *,  and  others  to  Parma,  which  was  about  eight  leagues 
from  the  field  of  battle.  When  our  army  was  first  engaged 
in  the  morning,  the  Count  de  Petillane  and  the  Lord  Virgil 
Ursini  fled  from  us :  the  Lord  Virgil  only  retired  to  a  gen- 
tleman's house  hard  by,  and  stayed  there  upon  his  parole  ; 
but  the  truth  is,  we  had  done  him  an  injury.  The  Count  de 
Petillane  went  over  to  the  enemy;  he  was  a  person  well 
known  in  their  army,  for  he  had  always  had  a  command 
under  the  Florentines  or  King  Ferrand.  As  soon  as  he 
was  got  amongst  them  he  began  to  cry  out  "  A  Petillane,  a 
Petillane  ;"  and  he  followed  those  who  fled  above  three 
leagues,  calling  out  to  them,  and  assuring  them  that  there 
was  no  danger,  and  that  if  they  faced  about,  the  day  would 
still  be  their  own :  by  which  means  he  rallied  a  great  part 
of  then),  and  gave  them  good  hopes  ;  and  if  it  had  not 
been  for  him,  it  would  have  been  a  total  defeat,  for  it  was 
a  great  encouragement  to  them  to  have  such  an  officer escapa 
from  us  and  come  to  their  assistance. 

He  was  eager  for  attacking  us  again  that  very  night,  but 
all  the  rest  of  the  officers  opposed  it.     He  told  me  so  him- 

*  This  is  not  Reggio  in  Calabria,  but  another  city  of  the  6ame  naiM 
in  the  (iukeduiu  of  Modena,  fifteen  miles  from  Parma. 


218  THE    MEMOIRS   OF    PHILIP    DE    COMMINES.  [1495. 

self  afterwards,  and  the  Marquis  of  Mantua  confirmed  it, 
and  owned  that  advice  to  be  his  ;  and  this  is  certain,  had  it 
not  been  for  him,  their  army  would  not  have  kept  together 
till  morning. 

As  soon  as  we  were  got  up  to  the  king,  we  discovered  a 
great  body  of  men-at-arms  drawn  up  in  order  of  battle  out- 
side their  camp,  with  some  infantry  ;  but  we  could  only  see 
their  heads  and  the  tops  of  their  pikes  and  lances.  They  had 
stood  there  all  day,  but  they  were  farther  off  than  we 
imagined:  before  we  could  have  come  at  them  we  must  have 
passed  the  river,  which  was  deep,  and  increased  every  hour, 
for  it  had  thundered,  lightened,  and  rained  most  prodigiously 
all  that  day,  especially  during  the  fight  and  while  we  were 
in  the  pursuit.  The  king  immediately  called  a  council  of 
war,  in  which  it  was  debated  whether  he  should  advance 
against  this  new  body  or  not.  There  were  then  with  him 
three  Italian  knights ;  one  of  them  was  Signor  John  James 
di  Trivulce  (who  is  yet  living,  and  behaved  himself  very 
well  that  day)  ;  another  was  Signor  Francisco  Secco,  a  brave 
man  of  seventy-two  years  of  age,  who  had  been  bred  a 
soldier  under  the  Florentines  ;  the  third  was  Signor  Camillo 
Vitelli,  who,  with  three  of  his  brothers,  was  then  in  the 
kind's  service..  These  came  unsent  for  from  Citta-de- 
Castello  as  far  as  Sarzana  (which  is  a  great  way),  to  be  pre- 
sent at  this  battle  ;  and,  finding  that  it  was  impossible  to 
come  in  time  enough  with  his  troops,  Camillo  left  them  to 
march  slowly  after,  and  advanced  with  all  speed  to  overtake 
the  king.  The  last  two  were  of  opinion  that  we  should 
attack  the  body  that  was  still  unbroken ;  but  the  French 
officers  being  consulted,  gave  their  judgment  against  it,  pre- 
tending that  we  had  done  enough,  and  that  it  grew  late  and 
was  time  to  think  of  quarters. 

Secco  persisted,  and  pressed  hard  to  have  that  body 
charged ;  he  showed  them  that  people  were  passing  to  and 
fro  upon  the  great  road  that  led  to  Parma  (which  was  the 
next  town  they  had  to  retreat  to),  and  assured  them  that  the 
enemy  were  either  flying  or  rallying  again  ;  and,  as  we 
heard  afterwards,  he  was  in  the  right.  His  behaviour  and 
counsel  denoted  him  to  be  a  brave  and  wise  man,  for  all  the 
officers  told  me  afterwards,  and  some  of  them  before  the 
Duke  of  Milan's  face,  that,  if  we  had  but  advanced  against 


1495.'  RESULTS   OF    THE    VICTORY.  219 

them,  we  had  certainly  obtained  the  greatest  and  most  glori- 
ous victory  that  the  French  nation  had  won  for  ten  years ! 
and,  had  we  known  how  to  have  improved  it,  and  obliged 
the  people  by  our  civil  treatment  of  them,  in  eight  days' 
time  the  Duke  of  Milan  would  not  have  had  anything  left 
but  the  castle  of  Milan,  so  inclinable  were  his  subjects  to 
revolt  from  him.  And  the  Venetians  would  have  been  much 
in  the  same  condition,  and  there  would  have  been  no  need 
to  care  about  Naples ;  for  the  Venetians  would  have  been 
able  to  have  raised  men  only  in  Venice,  Brescia  and  Cre- 
mona (which  is  but  a  small  place),  for  all  the  rest  of  their 
territories  in  Italy  would  have  been  lost.  But  God  had  dealt 
by  us  as  Jerome  had  foretold,  and  we  had  the  honour  of  the 
day,  though,  to  speak  truth,  our  ill  conduct  did  not  deserve 
it,  nor  did  we  then  know  how  to  manage  our  victory  ;  but 
now,  in  the  year  1497,  if  such  good  fortune  should  happen 
to  the  king,  I  think  he  could  order  it  better. 

Whilst  we  were  in  this  suspense  the  night  drew  on,  and 
the  enemy  that  had  faced  us  marched  off  into  their  camp. 
"VVe,  on  the  other  side,  took  up  our  quarters  about  a  quarter 
of  a  league  from  the  field  of  battle.  The  king  lay  in  a  farm- 
house or  cottage  (to  judge  by  the  meanness  of  the  building), 
but  the  houses  belonging  to  it  were  full  of  unthreslied  corn, 
which  served  for  provender  for  our  horses.  There  were  a 
few  houses  besides  that  in  which  the  king  lay,  but  they  were 
even  worse  than  it ;  so  they  were  but  little  benefit  to  us,  and 
every  one  was  forced  to  quarter  as  he  could.  For  my  part, 
I  remember  I  lay  in  a  little  pitiful  vineyard,  upon  the  ground 
without  any  shelter;  for  the  king  had  borrowed  my  cloak  in 
the  morning,  and  my  baggage  was  not  to  be  found.  He  that 
had  anything  to  eat  kept  himself  from  starving  ;  but  very 
few  had  any  victuals  more  than  a  crust  of  bread  or  so, 
which  they  took  from  their  servants.  I  saw  the  king  in  his 
chamber,  where  there  were  several  wounded  ;  amongst  the 
rest,  the  seneschal  of  Lyons  and  others,  whom  he  caused  to 
be  dressed.  The  king  was  very  cheerful,  and  every  one  was 
pleased  he  had  escaped  so  well  ;  but  we  did  not  boast  and 
swagger  as  we  used  to  do,  for  the  enemy  was  at  hand.  All 
our  Swiss  were  that  night  upon  the  guard;  the  king  gave 
them  three  hundred  crowns,  and  they  watched  very  diligently 
and  their  drums  beat  bravely  during  the  whole  night. 


220  THE   MEMOIRS   OP   PHILIP   DE   COMMINES.         [1495. 


Ch.  XIIT. — How  the  Lord  of  Argenton  went  alone  to  parley  with  the 
Enemy,  upon  the  Refusal  of  those  that  were  deputed  to  go  along  with 
him,  and  of  the  King's  safe  Arrival  with  his  whole  Army  at  Asti. — 
1495. 

The  next  morning  I  resolved  with  myself  to  pursue  our 
negotiations  for  peace,  as  I  was  still  very  solicitous  about  the 
king's  passage  in  safety ;  but  I  could  scarce  find  a  trumpeter 
that  would  venture  to  the  enemy's  camp,  because  nine  of 
their  trumpeters  had  been  slain  (unwittingly)  in  the  battle, 
and  they  had  taken  one  of  ours  and  killed  another,  whom  (as 
I  mentioned  before)  the  king  had  sent  to  them  before  the 
fight  began  ;  but  at  last  one  of  our  trumpeters  was  pre- 
vailed upon  to  go,  and  went  to  the  enemy  with  a  passport 
from  the  king,  and  brought  me  another  to  meet  and  confer 
in  the  midway  between  the  two  armies.  I  judged  it  to  be 
dangerous  ;  however,  I  resolved  not  to  break  with  them,  nor 
pretend  any  difficulty.  The  king  nominated  the  Cardinal  of 
St.  Malo,  the  Lord  de  Gie,  marshal  of  France,  the  Lord  de 
Piennes  his  chamberlain,  and  myself.  The  enemy  appointed 
the  Marquis  of  Mantua  captain-general  of  the  Venetians, 
the  Count  di  Cajazzo  general  for  the  Duke  of  Milan,  and 
formerly  of  our  side,  and  Signors  Luca  Pisani  and  Melchior 
Trevisano  the  two  proveditors.  We  approached  so  near  that 
we  could  plainly  discern  them,  and  that  there  were  only 
those  four  upon  the  bank  and  the  river  between  us,  which 
was  much  swollen  since  the  day  before.  Nobody  but  they 
appeared  out  of  their  camp,  and  on  our  side  there  was  no- 
body but  we  four  and  a  sentinel  that  stood  over  against 
them.  We  sent  a  herald  to  know  whether  they  would  pass 
the  river  to  us,  which  I  thought  a  hard  matter  to  persuade 
them  to,  because  I  believed  it  was  what  both  sides  would 
scruple  to  do.  Their  answer  was,  that  by  agreement  the 
conference  was  to  be  in  the  midway  between  the  two  armies  ; 
that  they  had  advanced  already  above  half-way,  and,  being 
the  chief  officers  in  their  army,  they  could  not  pass  over  with- 
out danger,  which  they  did  not  think  it  prudent  to  venture. 
Our  deputies  were  as  careful  of  themselves,  and  made  the 
9ame  difficulty  on  their  side,  but  would  needs  have  me  go 


1495.]  PARLEYS   WITH   THE   ENEMY.  221 

and  confer  with  them  without  further  instructions.  I  told 
them  I  could  not  in  discretion  go  alone,  and  that  I  would  at 
least  have  one  witness  along  with  me.  Upon  which  there 
went  with  me  one  of  the  king's  secretaries  called  Robertet, 
a  servant  of  my  own,  and  a  herald,  with  whom  I  passed  the 
river,  in  confidence  that,  if  I  could  not  come  to  any  accom- 
modation, I  should  yet  discharge  my  duty  to  them,  since  by 
my  means  the  conference  had  been  accepted.  When  I  came 
within  hearing,  I  told  them  they  were  not  come  half-way  as 
they  pretended,  and  that  they  ought  at  least  to  have  come  to 
the  river's  side  ;  however,  since  they  were  so  near,  I  did  not 
think  it  fit  to  let  them  return  without  being  spoken  with. 
They  replied  that  the  river  was  broad,  and  the  noise  of  the 
waters  so  great,  that  they  could  not  hear  us  from  the  other 
side ;  and  I  could  use  no  argument  powerful  enough  to  per- 
suade them  to  advance  any  farther ;  but  they  asked  me  for  my 
proposals.  I  answered,  that  I  had  no  such  commission,  and 
that  alone  I  could  say  nothing  to  them  ;  but,  if  they  pleased 
to  offer  anything,  I  would  acquaint  the  king  with  it.  While 
we  stood  talking  in  this  manner,  a  herald  came  to  me  to  let 
me  know  that  our  commissioners  were  going  back,  and  I 
might  make  what  overtures  I  pleased  ;  but  I  refused  to  do 
that,  for  they  understood  the  king's  pleasure  better  than  I, 
as  being  his  confidants;  besides  which,  they  had  whispered 
in  his  ear  at  their  coming  away  ;  but,  as  to  the  business  then 
in  discussion,  I  knew  as  much  as  the  best  of  them. 

The  Marquis  of  Mantua  began  to  discourse  about  the  battle, 
and  asked  me  if  the  king  would  have  put  him  to  death  if  he 
had  taken  him  prisoner.  I  told  him  "  No,"  but  he  would 
have  treated  him  honourably  ;  for  the  king  had  reason  to 
esteem  him,  for  the  great  honour  he  had  gained  by  attack- 
ing him.  Then  he  spoke  to  me  in  behalf  of  the  prisoners, 
and  particularly  of  his  uncle  the  Lord  Rodolph,  whom  he 
thought  to  be  alive,  but  I  knew  the  contrary ;  however,  I 
assured  him  they  should  all  be  civilly  used ;  and  then  I 
recommended  to  him  the  bastard  of  Bourbon,  who  was 
their  prisoner.  It  was  no  hard  matter  to  use  our  prisoners 
well ;  for  we  had  none,  which  perhaps  had  never  been 
known  in  any  battle  before ;  and  the  marquis  had  lost 
seven  or  eight  of  his  near  relations,  and  about  sixscore  of 
his  men-at-arms.     After  which  discourse  I  took  my  leaveb 


222  THE   MEMOIRS   OF   PHILIP   DE    COMMINES.        [1495. 

and  promissed  to  return  before  night ;  until  when  we  agreed 
to  a  cessation  of  arms. 

Upon  my  return  to  the  king,  with  his  secretary,  he  asked 
me  what  news  ?  and  immediately  called  a  council  of  war  in 
a  pitiful  poor  chamber;  but  everybody's  eye  was  fixed 
upon  his  neighbour,  and  we  came  to  no  resolution.  The 
king  whispered  something  in  the  Cardinal's  ear,  and  then 
told  me  1  should  go  back,  and  see  what  they  would  say 
(but,  as  the  proposition  of  a  conference  had  proceeded  from 
me,  it  was  probable  they  would  insist  that  I  should  make 
some  overtures  first)  ;  however,  the  Cardinal  told  me  I  must 
conclude  nothing ;  but  that  was  trifling,  for  it  was  not  in 
my  power  to  conclude  anything  unless  I  had  instructions 
from  them.  However,  I  would  neither  say  nor  do  anything 
that  might  hinder  my  going,  for  I  resolved  to  do  no  harm, 
and  I  was  in  hopes  to  discover  something  by  the  enemy's 
looks,  who,  without  doubt,  were  more  fearful  than  we  ; 
and  I  thought  perhaps  something  or  other  might  fall  from 
them  that  might  be  improved  to  the  benefit  of  both  parties. 
So  I  set  out  for  their  camp  ;  but  it  was  night  before  I 
reached  the  banks  of  the  river.  One  of  their  trumpeters 
met  me  there,  with  a  message  from  their  four  commis- 
sioners to  desire  I  would  advance  no  further  that  evening  ; 
for  their  Estradiots  were  upon  the  guard,  who  knew  nobody, 
and  therefore,  in  all  probability,  it  would  be  dangerous  for 
me  to  venture  ;  but,  if  I  pleased,  he  told  me  he  would  stay 
with  me  all  night,  and  conduct  me  in  the  morning.  How- 
ever, I  sent  him  back,  and  told  him  I  would  be  there  again 
next  morning  by  eight  o'clock,  and  that  he  should  await 
me  ;  or,  if  anything  happened  to  prevent  me,  I  would  give 
them  notice  by  a  herald ;  for  I  had  no  mind  he  should  know 
anything  of  our  condition  that  night,  nor  could  I  tell  what 
resolution  the  king  would  take ;  for  I  saw  people  whispering 
in  his  ear,  which  made  me  suspicious ;  and  so  I  returned  to 
give  his  majesty  an  account  of  what  I  had  done. 

Every  man  supped  on  what  he  could  get  to  eat,  and  took 
up  his  lodging  upon  the  ground.  About  midnight  I  went 
to  the  king's  quarters,  where  I  found  the  gentlemen  of  his 
bed-chamber  booted  and  spurred,  and  ready  to  mount  on 
horseback.  They  acquainted  me  with  the  king's  resolution 
of  retreating   with   all   expedition   towards  Asti  and   the 


149-5.]  CHARLES   VIII.   RETREATS   TO   ASTI.  223 

territories  of  the  Marchioness  of  Montferrat ;  and  desired 
me  to  stay  behind  and  amuse  the  enemy  with  a  treaty.  I 
heartily  thanked  them  for  their  love,  told  them  I  took  no 
delight  in  being  killed,  and  that  I  would  be  on  horseback 
as  soon  as  the  best.  Awhile  after  the  king  awaked  ;  and, 
having  heard  mass,  he  mounted  immediately.  An  hour 
before  day  one  of  our  trumpeters  sounded  the  watch,  but 
when  we  marched  off  we  made  no  use  of  our  trumpets,  nor, 
indeed,  was  it  proper  to  do  so :  however,  this  silent  stealing 
away  in  the  night  was  enough  to  have  discouraged  the 
whole  army,  especially  those  who  knew  what  it  meant ;  for 
we  turned  our  back  upon  the  enemy,  and  consulted  nothing 
but  our  safety,  which  in  an  army  is  of  dangerous  conse- 
quence. Besides,  at  our  first  decampment  we  had  very 
difficult  marching  ;  for  the  ways  were  deep  and  woody,  and, 
having  no  guides,  we  lost  ourselves  several  times.  1  heard 
the  soldiers  call  for  guides  to  their  ensigns  ;  but  the  master 
of  the  horse  and  all  of  them  answered  there  were  none : 
but  we  had  no  need  of  any,  for  God  had  conducted  us 
thither,  and  (as  Friar  Jerome  said)  He  would  carry  us  back 
again ;  otherwise  it  could  not  have  been  supposed  that  so 
great  a  prince  would  have  marched  in  the  night  without  a 
guide,  where  so  many  might  have  been  had.  Besides,  God 
gave  us  a  greater  evidence  than  this  of  His  immediate  pro- 
tection ;  for  the  enemy  perceived  nothing  of  our  decamp- 
ment till  noon  the  next  day,  as  they  still  depended  upon 
the  treaty  which  I  had  set  on  foot :  and  then  the  river  was 
so  swollen,  it  was  past  four  in  the  afternoon  before  any 
durst  venture  over  to  pursue  us.  The  first  that  passed  was 
the  Count  di  Cajazzo,  with  two  hundred  Italian  light  horse, 
but  the  current  was  so  strong,  they  passed  in  a  great  deal 
of  danger,  and,  as  I  was  told  afterwards,  one  or  two  men 
were  drowned. 

In  the  meantime,  we  marched  on  through  woody  and  un- 
even ways,  where  we  could  go  but  one  abreast  for  near  six 
miles  together;  but  at  last  we  came  into  a  fair  plain,  where 
our  van,  artillery,  and  baggage  were  arrived  already,  and 
were  so  numerous  and  great,  that  at  first  sight  they  frighted 
us,  when  we  saw  the  white  colours  chequered  with  red, 
which  belonged  to  Signor  John  James  di  Trivulce,  and  were 
like  those  which  were  carried  before  the  Marquis  of  Mantua 


224  THE    MEMOIRS   OF   PITIUP   DE   COMMINES.         [1495 

in  the  fight.  Our  van  were  in  no  less  fear  of  our  rear,  seeing 
them  at  a  distance  alon^r  the  road,  and  marching  towards 
them  as  fast  as  they  could  ;  upon  which  both  parties  stood 
to  their  arms,  and  drew  up  in  order  of  battle  :  but  this  fear 
was  soon  over,  for  our  scouts  met  immediately,  and  recog- 
nised one  another  ;  so  we  marched  to  Borgo  San-Donino, 
where  we  halted  and  refreshed  our  men,  and  where  also  a 
false  alarm  was  given,  on  purpose  to  get  our  Swiss  out  of 
the  town,  lest  they  should  have  plundered  it.  From  thence 
we  marched,  and  took  up  our  quarters  that  night  at  Firen- 
zuola,  and  the  second  night  near  Piacenza,  where  we  passed 
the  Trebia,  but  left  two  hundred  lances,  our  Swiss,  and  all 
our  artillery,  except  six  guns,  on  the  other  side  of  the  river: 
and  this  the  king  did,  that  his  army  might  encamp  more 
commodiously  ;  for  the  river  is  usually  low,  and  especially 
at  that  time  of  the  year.  However,  about  ten  o'clock  at 
night  it  swelled  so  fast,  that  nobody  could  get  over  either  on 
foot  or  on  horseback  ;  neither  could  one  party  have  relieved 
the  other,  in  case  of  necessity,  which  was  a  matter  of  great 
concern,  considering  how  near  the  enemy  were  to  us.  All 
that  night  was  spent  on  both  sides  in  contriving  a  remedy; 
but  nothing  would  do  till  the  water  fell  of  itself,  which  hap- 
pened at  about  five  in  the  morning.  Then  we  threw  over 
ropes  to  the  other  side,  to  help  the  passage  of  our  foot,  who 
were  forced  to  wade  up  to  the  waist  in  water.  When  they 
were  over,  the  horse  and  artillery  followed  ;  but  with  great 
difficulty  and  danger,  not  only  from  the  garrison  of  Piacenza, 
but  from  the  Count  di  Cajazzo,  who  was  got  into  the  town, 
upon  intelligence  that  there  were  designs  to  betray  it  to  the 
king,  in  trust  for  a  young  son  of  John  Galeas,  the  last  Duke 
of  Milan,  who  had  died  not  long  before,  as  you  have  heard. 
If  the  king  would  have  accepted  such  overtures  as  these, 
several  other  persons  and  towns  would  willingly  have  come 
over  to  him,  by  the  interest  of  Signor  John  James  di 
Trivulce;  but  lie  would  not  hearken  to  anything  prejudicial 
to  the  pretensions  of  his  cousin  the  Duke  of  Orleans,  who 
was  then  in  Novara ;  and  yet,  to  speak  impartially  on  the 
other  hand,  his  majesty  was  not  desirous  to  advance  the 
grandeur  and  power  of  his  cousin  ;  but  his  chief  design  was 
to  march  on  with  his  army,  and  leave  these  disputes  to  be 
adjusted  as  they  might.     The  third  day  after  the  battle,  the 


1495.]  CHARLES   vm.    ARRIVES   AT   NICE.  225 

king  dined  at  Castel  San-Giovanni,  and  lay  in  a  wood ;  the 
fourth  he  dined  at  Voghera,  and  lay  at  Ponte  Curone  ;  the 
next  night  he  lay  near  Tortona,  where  he  passed  the  river 
Scrivia,  which  Fraeasse*  was  to  have  defended,  for  the 
garrison  of  Tortona  supported  the  Duke  of  Milan,  and  were 
commanded  by  him :  but  when  he  was  informed  by  our 
quarter-masters  that  the  king  intended  not  to  remain,  he 
retired  into  the  town,  and  sent  us  word,  that  he  would 
furnish  us  with  what  provisions  we  pleased  ;  and  he  faithfully 
performed  his  promise ;  for  when  our  whole  army  marched 
under  the  walls  of  the  town,  Fraeasse  came  out  (in  his 
armour)  to  wait  upon  the  king,  but  attended  only  by  two 
persons ;  he  excused  himself  as  handsomely  as  he  could  for 
not  quartering  us  in  the  town,  sent  us  out  more  provisions, 
(so  that  our  army  was  plentifully  furnished,)  and  came  again 
at  night,  to  pay  his  respects  to  the  king  in  his  tent.  But 
you  must  know  he  was  of  the  house  of  St.  Severino,  brother 
to  the  Count  di  Cajazzo,  and  the  Lord  Galeas  ;  and  not  long 
before  had  served  the  king  in  Romagna,  as  has  been  already 
observed.  From  thence  our  next  march  was  to  Nizza  della 
Paglia  f,  which  belongs  to  the  Marquisate  of  Montferrat ;  and 
glad  we  were  to  reach  that  place ;  for  then  we  were  safe, 
and  in  the  country  of  our  friends.  Before  our  arrival  there, 
the  enemy's  light  horse,  under  the  command  of  the  Count  di 
Cajazzo,  were  perpetually  at  our  heels,  and  gave  us  great 
disturbance  ;  for  few  of  our  horse  were  willing  to  be  in  the 
rear,  and  the  nearer  we  approached  to  a  place  of  security, 
the  more  difficult  it  was  to  persuade  them  to  fight.  Some  say 
this  is  the  nature  of  the  French,  and  Italian  authors  have 
written,  that  in  their  attacks  they  are  more  than  men,  but 
less  than  women  in  their  retreats.  The  first  part  of  their 
character  I  believe,  for  certainly  upon  a  charge  they  are  the 
fiercest  nation  in  the  world  (I  mean  their  cavalry)  ;  but  at 
the  end  of  an  engagement,  there  is  no  nation  in  the  world 
but  is  less  daring  and  courageous  than  they  were  in  the  be- 
ginning of  the  action. 

*  Gasparo,  surnamed  Fracasso  de  San  Severino. 
f  Generally  known  as  Nice.     Charles  VIII.  arrive  1  there  on  Monday, 
July  13.  1495. 


vol.  n. 


2£3  THE    MEMOIRS   OF   PHILIP   DE   COMMINES.         [1495. 


Ch.  XIV. — How  the  Swiss  secured  the  French  army  in  its  retreat. — 

1495. 

But  to  continue  this  discourse :  Our  rear  was  brought  up 
by  three  hundred  Swiss,  with  several  field-pieces,  and  a 
strong  body  of  hackbutters,  who  drove  off"  the  Estradiots, 
who  were  not  numerous.  However,  the  grand  army  which 
had  fought  us  was  pursuing  with  all  possible  diligence,  but 
as  they  began  their  march  a  day  after  us,  and  were  heavily 
armed,  they  could  not  get  up  to  us ;  so  that  we  lost  not  a 
man  in  our  retreat,  nor  could  they  ever  come  within  twenty 
miles  of  our  rear.  When  they  found  they  could  not  come 
up  with  us,  (and  perhaps  they  never  desired  it,)  they  turned 
off  towards  Novara,  where,  as  we  said  before,  the  Duke  of 
Milan  and  the  Venetians  had  another  army  ;  but  if  they 
could  have  reached  us,  soon  after  we  began  our  retreat,  in 
all  probability  they  had  succeeded  better  than  in  the  valley 
of  Fornovo. 

I  have  said  in  several  places  of  these  Memoirs,  that  I 
have  seen,  and  by  experience  found,  that  God  the  Creator 
was  our  conductor  in  this  expedition  into  Italy ;  yet  it  is 
convenient  for  me  to  repeat  it  again,  for  though  from  the 
time  of  the  battle  to  our  arrival  at  Nice,  our  quarters  were 
taken  up  without  proper  order,  yet  we  bore  the  hardships  and 
inconveniences  of  the  long  march,  without  raising  any  mutiny 
or  murmuring  in  the  least.  Our  great  want  was  of  pro- 
visions, yet  we  were  in  some  measure  supplied  by  the  country 
people,  who  might  easily  have  poisoned  us  if  they  had 
pleased,  not  only  in  our  victuals  and  wine,  but  in  our  water 
too,  and  our  wells,  which  might  have  been  dried  up  in  a 
moment ;  for  I  do  not  remember  I  saw  any  but  what  were 
very  small.  If  they  had  had  a  mind  to  have  destroyed  ua 
by  poison,  it  was  in  their  power  to  have  done  it,  and  there- 
fore we  may  reasonably  believe  our  Saviour  and  Redeemer 
Jesus  Christ  prevented  that  desire  in  them.  I  have  seen 
our  men  so  thirsty,  that  our  foot  in  great  numbers  have  lam 
down,  and  drank  out  of  the  ditches  round  about  the  little 
villages  through  which  we  marched.  Our  marches  were 
long,  and  our  drink  nothing  but  standing  water  that  stank; 
And  yet  our  men  were  so  greedy,  they  plunged  in  it  up  to 


H95.]  CONDUCT  OF  THE  FRENCH  ARMT  IN  RETREAT.   227 

the  waist  to  come  at  it ;  for  we  had  multitudes  that  followed 
the  camp,  and  were  not  soldiers,  but  attended  to  our  mules. 
The   king   always  marched   before  day,  but  never  took  a 
guide  with  him,  nor  baited  till  noon,  and  then  he  dined ; 
and  those  that  attended  him  took  what  care  they  could  of 
themselves.      No  man   in   the  whole  army,  though  of  the 
best  quality,  was  excused  from  looking  to  his  own  horse, 
but  every  one  brought  his  own  straw  or  hay  in  his  arms. 
Twice  I  did  it  myself,  and  was  two  days  without  eating  any 
thing  but  bread,  and  that  none  of  the  best;  yet  I  suffered 
not  so  much  hardship  as  others  did.     Our  army  was  highly 
to  be  commended  for  one  thing,  and  that  is,  that  I  never 
heard  any  of  our  soldiers  complain  ;  and  yet  it  was  the  most 
painful  and   incommodious   march   I  ever  made,  though   I 
have   been   through   several  that   were  bad    enough,   with 
Charles  Duke  of  Burgundy.     We  marched  no  faster  than 
our  artillery,  and  were  often  forced  to  halt,  on  purpose  to 
mend  the  guns,  which,  because  of  the  want  of  horses  to 
draw  them,  incommoded  us  extremely;   but  whenever  we 
were  hard  put  to  it,  we  were  generously  supplied  by  the 
officers  of  the  army ;  so  that  we  lost  not  one  piece,  nor  one 
pound  of  powder  in  our  retreat;  and  yet  I  am  of  opinion 
never  any  man  saw  guns  of  their  size  conveyed  with  such 
expedition  through  such  impassable  places.     And  if  I  have 
mentioned  any  thing  of  disorder  or  inconvenience   in  our 
quarters  or  elsewhere,  it  was  not  for  want  of  good  officers 
and  men  of  experience  in  our  army ;  but  (as  fortune  would 
have  it),  they  had  no  authority  with  the   king,   who  was 
young  and  intractable,   as  I  have  said  before ;   so  that  to 
conclude,   our  Saviour  Jesus  Christ   did    most  manifestly 
reserve  all  the  glory  of  that  journey  to  himself. 

The  seventh  day  after  the  battle,  we  marched  from  Nice, 
and  encamped  all  together  in  the  field,  not  far  from  Ales- 
sandria. We  doubled  our  guards  that  night,  and  kept  very 
strict  watch,  and  the  next  morning  we  marched  to  Asti, 
that  is  to  say,  the  king  and  those  that  attended  on  him,  but 
the  army  continued  in  the  field.  We  found  the  town  of 
Asti  well  furnished  with  provisions,  which  was  a  great  re- 
freshment to  our  wearied  troops,  who  wanted  them  severely, 
having  endured  much  hunger,  thirst,  labour,  heat,  and 
watching;  and  after  all  had  no  clothes  to  their  backs,  but 


228  THE    MEMOIRS    OF    PHILir    DE    COMMINES.  [H95. 

what  were  ragged  and  worn  out.  As  soon  as  the  king  was 
in  Asti,  about  an  hour  before  bedtime,  I  despatched  a 
gentleman  named  Philip  de  la  Couldre  (who  had  formerly 
been  in  my  service,  but  was  then  a  servant  to  the  Duke  of 
Orleans),  to  Novara,  where  the  duke  was  besieged,  though 
not  so  closely  but  that  people  might  get  in  and  out ;  for 
their  design  was  only  to  starve  them.  I  sent  him  word  by 
this  gentleman,  that  our  king  had  several  treaties  on  foot 
with  the  Duke  of  Milan  (one  of  which  I  managed  by  means 
of  the  Duke  of  Ferrara),  for  which  reason  I  thought  it  con- 
venient he  should  immediately  come  to  the  king,  after  he 
had  assured  his  party  in  the  town  that  he  would  return  in  a 
short  time,  or  send  them  relief.  They  were  no  less  than 
7500  men  in  pay,  and  as  fine  a  body  of  troops  (for  their 
number)  both  French  and  Swiss,  as  ever  were  seen  in  the 
field.  After  the  king  had  been  a  day  at  Asti,  he  had  intel- 
ligence from  the  Duke  of  Orleans  and  from  others,  that  the 
enemies'  two  armies  were  joined  before  Novara ;  and  the 
duke  pressed  for  supplies,  for  (by  reason  of  their  imprudence 
at  first)  their  provisions  now  began  to  fail ;  but  had  they 
been  so  provident  when  they  came  into  the  town,  as  they 
ought  to  have  been,  they  need  not  have  been  in  distress  ; 
for  there  was  plenty  enough  in  the  villages  about  it,  espe- 
cially of  corn,  which  if  they  had  brought  in  time  into  the 
town,  and  carefully  laid  up  in  their  magazines,  they  would 
not  have  been  forced  to  surrender :  for  had  they  held  out 
but  one  month  longer,  they  would  have  come  off  honourably 
themselves,  and  covered  the  enemy  with  shame  and  con- 
fusion. 


Ch.  XV. — How  the  King  fitted  out  a  Fleet  with  an  intention  to  have 
relieved  the  Caslles  of  Naples  ;  and  of  the  Miscarriage  of  that  De- 
sign.— 1495. 

As  soon  as  the  king  had  refreshed  himself  for  some   few 
days  at  Asti,  he  marched  to  Turin*;  and  at  his  departure 

*  Charles  VIII.  arrived  at  Turin,  on  Thursday,  July  30.  1495. 


1495.]  OVERTURES  OF  PEACE.  229 

from  Asti  he  despatched  Peron  de  Basche,  the  steward  of 
his  household,  to  equip  a  fleet  at  Nice  with  all  speed  for  the 
relief  of  the  castles  of  Naples,  which  held  out  for  the  king. 
Peron  oheyed  his  majesty's  orders,  prepared  a  fleet,  and  gave 
the  command  of  it  to  the  Lord  d'Arban*,  who  sailed  with  it 
as  far  as  Prucef,  within  sight  of  the  enemy;  but  the  wea- 
ther was  bad,  and  would  not  suffer  them  to  engage,  so  that 
the  fleet  did  nothing ;  for  the  Lord  d'Arban  returned  to  Leg- 
horn, where  most  part  of  his  men  got  on  shore,  and  ran  away 
from  their  ships;  and  the  enemy  came  with  their  fleet  into 
the  port  of  Bengon  |,  not  far  from  Piombino,  where  they  con- 
tinued two  months ;  so  that  our  men  were  able  to  send  some 
small  supplies  into  Naples,  by  reason  that  the  nature  of  the 
port  of  Bengon  is  such,  that  unless  it  be  by  one  single  wind 
ships  can  hardly  get  out,  and  that  wind  blows  seldom  in 
winter.  The  Lord  d'Arban  was  valiant  in  person,  but  not  a 
very  skilful  admiral. 

During  the  king's  stay  at  Turin  many  proposals  of  treaties 
passed  between  the  king  and  the  Duke  of  Milan  ;  and  some 
were  managed  by  the  mediation  of  the  Duchess  of  Savoy, 
who  was  the  Marquis  of  Montferrat's  daughter,  a  widow, 
and  mother  to  the  young  duke  §  that  was  then  living. 
Others  were  transacted  by  other  people :  I  was  also  con- 
cerned therein  :  for  the  confederates  (by  whom  I  mean  the 
commanders  at  that  time  before  Novara),  had  a  great  desire 
to  have  me  employed  in  the  matter,  and  sent  me  a  passport  ; 
but  (as  there  are  always  emulations  at  court)  the  Cardinal 
would  not  suffer  it,  but  prevailed  that  the  overture  proposed 
by  the  Duchess  of  Savoy  might  be  preferred,  which  was 
managed  by  the  Cardinal's  landlord,  who  was  treasurer  of 
Savoy,  a  wise  man,  and  a  good  servant  to  his  mistress:  this 

*  Louis  Aleman,  Knight,  Lord  of  Arbcnt  and  Mornay,  was  long  in 
the  service  of  Charles,  Duke  of  Burgundy;  but  having  sold  the  Castle 
of  Jou,  of  which  he  was  governor,  to  Louis  XL  for  14,000  crowns,  he 
transferred  his  allegiance  to  the  French  King,  from  whom  he  received 
considerable  preferment.  Guicciardini  speaks  of  him  as  "  uomo  belli- 
coso  ma  non  esperimentato." 

f  Ponza,  a  rocky  island  off  the  coast  of  Naples,  35  miles  south-west 
of  Gaeta. 

J  Porto-Longone,  near  Piombino. 

§  Charles  John  Amadeus,  born  on  the  24th  of  June,  1488,  succeeded 
his  father  in  1489,  and  died  on  the  1 6th  of  April,  1496. 


230  THE   MEMOIBS  OF   PHILIP   DE   COMMINES.         [1495. 

treaty  took  up  a  long  time,  and  for  this  cause  the  Bailiff  of 
Dijon  was  sent  ambassador  into  Switzerland,  to  raise  five 
thousand  of  their  men. 

I  have  already  mentioned  the  equipment  of  our  fleet  at 
Nice,  and  its  setting  sail  for  the  relief  of  the  castles  of  Naples, 
which  it  was  unable  to  effect  for  the  above-mentioned  rea- 
sons ;  whereupon  the  Lord  de  Montpensier,  and  the  rest  of 
the  officers  that  were  in  the  castles  aforesaid  (perceiving 
their  condition),  resolved  to  march  off  by  the  help  of  the 
army,  which  had  been  left  in  divers  places  for  the  defence  of 
that  kingdom,  and  was  then  drawn  as  near  the  castle  as  pos- 
sible ;  but  they  left  a  number  to  defend  the  castles  propor- 
tionable to  the  quantity  of  provisions  which  remained  ;  for 
they  were  insufficient  to  sustain  them  all.  And  having 
given  the  command  of  the  garrison  to  the  Lord  Ognas  and 
two  other  officers  of  conduct  and  experience,  the  Lord  de 
Montpensier,  the  Prince  of  Salerno,  the  Seneschal  of  Beau- 
caire  and  others,  marched  off  with  two  thousand  five  hun- 
dred men,  for  Salerno.  King  Ferrand  pretended  it  was  con- 
trary to  their  treaty,  and  that  the  hostages  which  they  had 
given  him  a  few  days  before  (which  were  the  Lord  d'Alegre, 
Monsieur  de  la  Marche  d'Ardain*,  the  Lord  de  la  Chapelle 
d'Anjou,  Monsieur  Roquebertin,  a  Catalonian,  and  one  Mon- 
sieur Genlyt),  were  at  his  mercy,  and  that  he  might  law- 
fully put  them  to  death.  You  must  understand  that  some 
three  months  before,  by  intelligence  with  the  enemy,  and 
our  bad  order,  King  Ferrand  had  got  into  the  town  of 
Naples  \,  though  our  men  had  notice  of  all  his  designs. 
I  would  enlarge  upon  this,  but  I  can  say  nothing  of  it  ex- 
cept by  hearsay  (yet  I  had  it  from  very  good  hands) ;  how- 
ever, it  is  not  my  method  to  insist  upon  any  thing  that  I  was 
not  an  eye-witness  of  myself.  But  while  King  Ferrand  was 
in  Naples,  he  received  the  news  of  our  master's  being  killed 

•  Robert  de  la  Marck,  Duke  of  Bouillon,  and  Lord  of  Sedan. 

t  Jacques  de  Hangest,  Lord  of  Genlis,  and  councillor  and  chamber- 
lain to  the  king.  After  his  deliverance  from  Naples,  he  went  on  a  pil- 
grimage to  Jerusalem,  and  on  his  return  he  was  sent  on  an  embassy  to 
Charles,  Archduke  of  Austria,  in  1514. 

%  Ferdinand  re-entered  Naples  on  the  7th  of  July,  1495.  The  story 
of  his  recovery  of  his  capital  is  thus  told  by  Mr.  Prescott : — "  King  Fer- 
dinand, having  gained  new  confidence  from  bis  experience  of  the  favour- 
able dispositions  existing  towards  him  in  Calabria,  and  relying  on  • 


1495.]  KING   FERDINANT*  RECOVERS   NAPLES.  231 

in  the  battle  of  Fornovo ;  and  our  men  in  the  castle  had  the 
same  news,  from  several  letters  and  stories  forged  by  the 
Duke  of  Milan,  which  they  believed  as  readily  as  the  Co- 
lonne,  who  revolted  from  us  immediately,  as  desiring  to  be 
always  on  the  strongest  side,  though  (as  I  said  before)  they 
were  under  great  obligations  to  the  king.  Upon  these  re- 
ports, but  chiefly  because  our  men  were  confined  in  great 
numbers  in  the  castle  (where  provisions  were  scarce),  and 
had  lost  all  their  horses  and  household  stuff"  in  the  town, 
they  came  to  a  treaty,  on  the  19th  of  October  1495,  after  they 
had  been  besieged  three  months  and  fourteen  days)  ;  and 

similar  feeling  of  loyalty  in  his  capital,  determined  to  hazard  a  bold 
stroke  for  its  recovery.  He  accordingly  embarked  at  Messina,  with  a 
handful  of  troops  only,  on  board  the  fleet  of  the  Spanish  admiral,  Re- 
quescns.  It  amounted  in  all  to  eighty  vessels,  most  of  them  of  inconsi- 
derable size.  With  this  armament,  which,  notwithstanding  its  formid- 
able show,  carried  little  effective  force  for  land  operations,  the  adven- 
turous young  monarch  appeared  off  the  harbour  of  Naples  before  the  end 
of  June,  1495.  The  Duke  of  Montpensier  at  that  time  garrisoned  Na- 
ples with  6000  French  troops.  On  the  appearance  of  the  Spanish  navy, 
he  marched  out  to  prevent  Ferdinand's  landing,  leaving  a  few  only  of 
his  soldiers  to  keep  the  city  in  awe.  But  he  had  scarcely  quitted  it  be- 
fore the  inhabitants,  who  had  waited  with  impatience  an  opportunity  for 
throwing  off  the  yoke,  sounded  the  tocsin,  and  rising  in  arms  through 
every  part  of  the  city,  and  massacring  the  feeble  remains  of  the  garri- 
son, shut  the  gates  against  him ;  while  Ferdinand,  who  had  succeeded  in 
drawing  off  the  French  commander  in  another  direction,  no  sooner  pre- 
sented himself  before  the  walls,  than  he  was  received  with  transports  of 
joy  by  the  enthusiastic  people. 

"  The  French,  however,  though  excluded  from  the  city,  by  making  a 
circuit  effected  an  entrance  into  the  fortresses  which  commanded  it.  From 
these  posts  Montpensier  sorely  annoyed  the  town,  making  frequent 
attacks  on  it,  day  and  night,  at  the  head  of  his  gendarmerie,  until  they 
were  at  length  checked  in  every  direction  by  barricades,  which  the  citi- 
zens hastily  constructed  with  waggons,  casks  of  stones,  bags  of  sand,  and 
whatever  came  most  readily  to  hand.  At  the  same  time  the  windows, 
balconies,  and  house-tops  were  crowded  with  combatants,  who  poured 
down  such  a  deadly  shower  of  missiles  on  the  heads  of  the  French  as 
finally  compelled  them  to  take  shelter  in  their  defences.  Montpensier 
was  now  closely  besieged,  till  at  length  reduced  by  famine,  he  was  com- 
pelled to  capitulate.  Before  the  time  prescribed  for  his  surrender  had 
arrived,  however,  he  effected  his  escape  at  night,  by  water,  to  Salerno, 
at  the  head  of  twenty-five  hundred  men.  The  remaining  garrison,  with 
the  fortresses,  submitted  to  the  victorious  Ferdinand,  at  the  beginning  of 
the  following  year." — Hiitory  of  Ferdinand  and  Isabella,  vol.  ii.  pp.  288- 
890. 


232  THE    MEMOIRS   OF   PHILIP   DE    COMMTNES.         [1495. 

about  three  weeks  after  making  the  treaty,  they  marched 
away.  They  had  promised,  that  if  they  were  not  relieved 
by  a  certain  day,  they  would  march  off  into  Provence,  and 
leave  the  castles  without  doing  any  farther  act  of  hostility 
against  that  kingdom,  either  by  sea  or  by  land ;  for  per- 
formance of  which  promise  the  said  hostages  were  given. 
And  King  Ferrand  alleged  they  had  broken  their  promise 
by  departing  without  leave ;  but  our  men  affirmed  the  con- 
trary ;  howbeit,  the  hostages  were  in  no  little  danger,  and 
not  without  cause.  Whatever  their  articles  were,  I  think 
our  men  did  wisely  to  march  away  ;  but  they  had  done  bet- 
ter if  they  had  delivered  up  the  castles  when  they  went,  and 
taken  their  hostages  along  with  them  :  for  by  reason  of  their 
want  of  provisions  and  their  despair  of  relief,  the  remaining 
garrison  was  forced  to  surrender  within  twenty  days  after, 
and  the  loss  of  the  castle  of  Naples  was  the  loss  of  the 
whole  kingdom. 


Ch.  XVI.—  Of  the  great  Famine  and  Misery  to  which  the  Duke  of  Or* 

leans  and  his  army  were  reduced  at  Novara:  Of  the  Death  of  the 
Marchioness  of  Montferrat :  Of  the  Death  of  the  Duke  of  Vendome  ; 
and  the  conclusion  of  a  Peace  for  the  preservation  of  the  besieged 
after  several  negotiations. — 1495. 

The  king,  during  his  stay  at  Turin,  or  at  Quiers*,  (whither 
he  went  sometimes  for  his  diversion)  grew  impatient  for  the 
Swiss  whom  he  had  sent  the  Bailiff  of  Dijon  to  raise  in 
Switzerland ;  for  he  was  extremely  desirous,  if  possible,  to 
restore  the  young  Duke  of  Milan,  and  paid  but  little  atten- 
tion to  the  distress  of  his  cousin  the  Duke  of  Orleans,  who 
began  to  be  straitened  in  provisions,  and  sent  couriers  to  us 
every  day  to  beg  the  king  to  relieve  him.  The  enemy  had 
advanced  their  approaches,  and  gotten  nearer  the  town  than 
ever :  besides,  they  were  reinforced  with  a  thousand  German 
horse,  under  the  command  of  Monsieur  Frederic  Capelare, 

*  Chieri,  a  pleasant  little  Sardinian  town,  about  eight  miles  south-e?^t 
ef  Turin. 


1495.]  SIEGE   OP   NOVARA.  233 

of  the  county  of  Ferrete,  a  brave  soldier  and  an  excellent 
officer,  and  trained  in  the  wars  of  both  Italy  and  France ; 
they  had  a  recruit  likewise  of  eleven  thousand  Landsknechts, 
out  of  the  territories  of  the  King  of  the  Romans,  commanded 
by  Monsieur  George  Dabecfin  *,  a  native  of  Austria,  a  per- 
son of  great  valour,  and  the  very  same  that  took  St.  Omers 
for  the  King  of  the  Romans. 

The  king,  seeing  the  enemy's  army  daily  reinforced,  and 
that  no  honourable  terms  were  to  be  expected,  was  per- 
suaded to  retire  to  Ve rcelli  "j",  and  there  to  concert  measures 
how  to  relieve  the  Duke  of  Orleans,  who  (as  I  have  said 
before)  had  taken  no  care  to  erect  any  magazines  for  the 
subsistence  of  his  army  upon  his  first  entrance  into  No- 
vara  ;  and  certainly  it  had  been  much  better  for  the  duke  to 
have  followed  the  advice  which  I  gave  him  upon  the  king's 
return  to  Asti,  to  put  all  useless  persons  out  of  the  town,  and 
repair  himself  to  the  king  :  for  his  presence  would  have  ad- 
vanced his  affairs,  or  at  least  the  troops  he  had  left  behind 
would  not  have  been  reduced  to  such  extremity  of  hunger, 
for  he  would  have  capitulated  sooner,  had  he  found  there 
was  no  hope  of  relief.  But  the  Archbishop  of  Rouen  J,  who 
was  with  him  at  the  taking  of  No  vara,  and  was  then  with 
the  king,  to  solicit  in  his  behalf,  sent  him  word  not  to  stir, 
and  assured  him  of  relief;  grounding  his  confidence  upon 
the  promises  of  the  Cardinal  of  St.  Malo,  who  was  all  power- 
ful with  the  king.  The  archbishop  spoke  as  his  affections 
prompted  him  ;  but  I  was  assured  of  the  contrary,  for  no- 
body had  any  inclination  to  return  to  the  battle,  unless  the 
king  went  in  person,  and  his  Majesty  had  no  inclination  to 
do  so,  as  the  dispute  was  only  about  that  town,  which  the 
Duke  of  Orleans  desired  to  keep,  and  the  Duke  of  Milan  to 
recover  ;  because  as  it  is  within  ten  leagues  of  Milan,  he 
thought  it  necessary  that  they  should  be  both   under  one 

*  Called  by  Molinct  (iii.  438.)  "  George  Obestain,  a  native  of  Trent, 
in  Germany."  It  seems  probable  that  he  was  a  member  of  the  Styrian 
family  of  Herberstein,  one  of  whom  greatly  distinguished  himself  in  the 
wars  against  the  Turks,  in  1509.  The  Landsknechts  were  the  heavy 
German  infantry. 

t  Vercelli  is  sixteen  miles  south-west  of  No  vara. 

X  George  d'Amboise,  afterwards  a  cardinal,  and  chief  minister  of 
state  to  Louis  XII.  from  1498  to  1509,  He  died  at  Lyons,  on  the  25th 
of  May,  1510. 


234  THE   MEMOIRS   OF   PHILIP   DE   COMMINES.        [H95, 

jurisdiction,  there  being  nine  or  ten  great  cities  near  one 
another,  within  a  small  compass,  and  all  depending  upon  the 
said  duchy.  However,  Ludovic  Sforza  offered  fair  terms, 
that  if  we  would  deliver  up  Novara,  and  not  disturb  him  in 
Genoa,  in  other  things  he  would  serve  the  king  to  the  utmost 
of  his  power. 

Several  great  convoys  of  provision,  both  of  corn  and  meal, 
were  sent  into  Novara;  but  they  always  lost  half  by  the 
way  ;  and  once  a  small  force  of  sixty  men-at-arms,  under  the 
command  of  Chastillon,  a  young  gentleman  belonging  to  the 
court,  was  quite  routed  ;  some  were  taken,  some  few  entered, 
and  others  with  great  difficulty  escaped  ;  so  that  it  is  not 
possible  to  imagine  the  extremity  the  garrison  was  reduced 
to.  Every  day  some  were  starved  to  death  ;  two  parts  out 
of  three  were  afflicted  with  distempers  of  which  we  had  piti- 
ful and  continual  accounts,  both  in  cipher  and  otherwise, 
which  came  to  us  with  very  great  difficulty.  We  constantly 
gave  them  fair  promises,  and  as  constantly  deceived  them  ; 
those  who  had  the  sole  administration  of  affairs  were  very 
inclinable  to  fight,  but  they  did  not  consider  that  nobody  de- 
sired it  beside  themselves;  for  the  great  officers,  as  for  in- 
stance the  Prince  of  Orange  (whom,  upon  his  late  arrival, 
the  king  often  consulted  in  military  affairs),  and  all  the  other 
officers  of  the  army,  desired  things  might  be  composed  and 
adjusted  by  a  peace,  because  winter  was  approaching,  money 
wanting,  the  army  but  weak  and  sickly,  and  soldiers  desert- 
ing daily,  whilst  others  were  dismissed  by  the  king.  Yet 
all  the  wise  men  in  the  camp  were  not  able  to  persuade  the 
Archbishop  of  Rouen  from  encouraging  the  Duke  of  Orleans 
not  to  leave  Novara ;  by  which  advice  they  brought  him 
into  a  great  deal  of  danger  ;  but  this  advice  proceeded  from 
an  expectation  of  great  recruits  out  of  Switzerland,  which 
the  bailiff  of  Dijon  had  assured  them  he  could  raise.  Some 
of  our  courtiers  wrote  to  him  to  bring  as  many  troops  as  he 
could  assemble ;  thus  our  councils  were  divided,  and  every 
man  wrote  and  said  what  he  pleased. 

Those  who  were  averse  to  an  accommodation,  or  to  any  meet- 
ing about  it,  pretended  the  enemy  ought  to  make  over- 
tures first,  and  that  it  did  not  consist  with  the  king's  honour 
to  begin  ;  and  the  enemy  being  equally  haughty  on  their 
side,  the  poor  garrison  in  Novara  suffered  incredibly,  and 


1495."]   DEATH   OF   THE   MARCHIONESS   OF   MONTFERRAT.    235 

their  letters  were  full  of  nothing  but  relations  of  their  mi- 
series, assuring  us,  first,  that  they  could  not  hold  out  above 
ten  days,  then  eight,  and  at  last  three ;  but  they  exceeded 
the  time  which  they  had  mentioned.  To  be  brief,  such  ne- 
cessities had  not  heen  known  in  our  time,  nor  did  ever  men 
suffer  so  great  a  famine  in  a  hundred  years  before. 

During  this  posture  of  affairs  the  Marchioness  of  Mont- 
ferrat  died,  and  left  her  country  involved  in  some  troubles 
in  respect  of  the  competition  for  its  government.  The  Mar- 
quis of  Saluzzo  pretended  to  it  on  one  side,  and  the  Lord 
Constantine,  uncle  to  the  Marchioness,  claimed  it  on  the 
other.  He  was  a  Greek  as  well  as  his  niece,  who  was  the 
King  of  Servia's  daughter;  but  both  of  them  had  been  ruined 
by  the  Turks.  This  Lord  Constantine  had  fortified  the 
castle  of  Casale,  where  he  kept  in  his  hands  the  two  sons 
(the  eldest  of  whom  was  scarce  nine  years  old)  of  the  late 
marquis,  and  that  beautiful  and  discreet  lady  his  niece,  who 
died  in  the  twenty-ninth  year  of  her  age,  and  was  a  constant 
friend  to  the  French.  Other  persons  pretended  likewise  to 
the  government,  and  there  was  great  contest  for  it  before 
the  king  by  their  respective  agents.  The  king  commanded 
me  to  proceed  thither,  with  instructions  to  settle  things  for 
the  advantage  of  the  young  children,  and  the  general  satis- 
faction of  the  people  ;  fearing  lest  by  these  differences  the 
Duke  of  Milan  should  be  brought  in,  for  the  lord  of  that 
country  was  our  very  good  ally. 

I  was  extremely  concerned  at  these  orders,  especially  as  I 
had  to  depart  before  I  could  set  the  treaty  of  peace  on  foot 
again ;  for  I  was  sensible  in  what  condition  the  town  was. 
1  saw  winter  approaching,  and  apprehended  lest  the  pre- 
lates *  should  bring  the  king  to  a  new  battle,  in  which  (un- 
less mightily  supplied  from  Switzerland)  he  would  be  pro- 
bably too  weak,  and  if  the  supplies  were  as  numerous  as 
they  were  reported  to  be,  it  would  not  be  safe  for  the  king 
to  venture  himself  in  their  hands;  besides,  the  enemy  were 
powerful,  strongly  encamped,  and  very  well  fortified.  Upon 
these  considerations,  I  presumed  to  tell  the  king  that,  in  my 
judgment,  he  was  about  to  put  himself  and  his  kingdom  in 
very  great  hazard,  upon  a  small  and  trifling  occasion  ;  that 
the  danger  which  he  escaped  at  the  battle  of  Fornovo  ought 
*  The  Cardinal  of  St.  Malo,  and  the  Archbishop  of  Bouen. 


236  THE   MEMOIRS   OF   PHILIP   DE    COMMINES.        [1495. 

not  to  be  forgotten,  but  that  there  he  was  under  necessity, 
and  here  he  was  not.  Wherefore  I  did  humbly  recommend 
him  not  to  lose  an  honourable  accommodation  by  stickling 
for  the  first  overture  ;  and  if  he  pleased  to  authorise  me,  I 
questioned  not  but  I  could  make  a  peace  without  the  least 
dishonour  to  either  side.  He  replied  that  he  would  have  me 
speak  to  the  Cardinal ;  and  so  I  did,  but  he  gave  me  strange 
unaccountable  answers,  expressing  an  inclination  to  fight, 
and  making  sure  of  the  victory  ;  and  he  told  me  the  Duke  of 
Orleans  had  promised,  whenever  he  came  to  the  duchy  of 
Milan,  to  give  him  ten  thousand  ducats  a  year  for  one  of  his 
sons.  The  next  morning  I  went  to  wait  on  the  king,  and 
take  leave  of  his  majesty,  in  order  to  begin  my  journey  to 
Casale  (which  would  take  me  about  a  day  and  a  half).  I 
there  met  the  Lord  de  la  Trimouille,  and  acquainted  him 
with  what  had  passed  (he  being  related  to  the  king*),  and 
desired  his  judgment  whether  I  ought  to  mention  the  affair 
to  him  again  ;  he  told  me  to  do  so  by  all  means,  for  everybody 
was  very  desirous  of  peace.  The  king  was  at  that  time  in 
the  garden ;  so  I  revived  the  discourse  before  the  Cardinal, 
who  told  me  that  it  was  most  proper  for  him,  being  an  eccle- 
siastic, to  begin  it.  I  answered,  if  he  did  not,  I  would  ;  for 
I  perceived  the  king  was  inclinable  enough,  and  so  were  all 
that  were  about  him.  After  which  I  took  my  leave  ;  and 
at  my  departure  I  told  the  Prince  of  Orange  (who  com- 
manded the  army  in  chief),  that  if  I  began  anything  in  that 
business,  my  addresses  should  be  to  him  ;  and  so  I  went  to 
Casale,  where  I  was  well  received  by  all  that  family,  and 
found  them  nearly  all  in  favour  of  the  Lord  Constantine,  as 
a  fitter  [person  for  the  guardianship  of  the  children  ;  for  he 
was  incapable  of  the  succession,  to  which  the  Marquis  of 
Saluzzo  pretended  a  right.  For  several  days  together,  I 
assembled  both  the  nobility,  clergy,  and  townsmen,  and,  at 
the  request  of  most  of  them,  I  declared  that  it  was  my 
master's  pleasure  that  the  Lord  Constantine  should  be  con- 
tinued in  the  government ;  for,  considering  the  king's  forces 
on  that  side  of  the  mountains,  and  the  affection  that  country 
had  always  retained  to  the  court  of  France,  I  presumed  they 
would  not  contradict  the  king's  desires. 


o 


*  By  his  wife,  Gabrielle  de  Bourbon,  who  was  a  daughter  of  the  Count 
de  Moutpensior. 


1495.]      CONDITION  OF  THE  FRENCH  ARMY.         237 

I  had  scarce  been  three  days  at  Casale  before  there 
arrived  a  gentleman  from  the  Marquis  of  Mantua,  captain- 
general  of  the  Venetians,  with  compliments  of  condolence 
upon  the  death  of  the  late  Marchioness  ;  for  he  was  related 
to  the  family  of  Montferrat.  This  gentleman  was  steward 
of  the  marquis's  household,  and  he  and  I  by  degrees 
began  to  consult  how  we  might  prevent  the  battle  that  was 
likely  to  occur  shortly  ;  for  all  things  tended  to  war,  and  the 
king  was  encamped  not  far  from  Vercelli  ;  though,  to  speak 
the  truth,  he  had  only  passed  the  river,  and  let  his  army 
encamp  there,  which  was  but  ill-provided  with  tents  and 
pavilions,  for  they  had  brought  but  lew  with  them,  and  those 
few  were  lost;  besides,  the  ground  was  moist,  —  for  winter 
was  coming  on,  and  the  country  is  but  low. 

The  king  lay  but  one  night  in  the  camp,  and  returned 
next  morning  to  the  town  ;  hut  the  Prince  of  Orange  re- 
mained with  the  army,  and  with  him  the  Counts  of  Foix 
and  Vendome*,  the  latter  of  whom  fell  into  a  dysentery  and 
died,  to  the  unspeakable  sorrow  of  the  whole  army,  for  he 
was  a  young  gentleman  of  great  valour  and  conduct,  and 
came  thither  post  upon  the  report  of  a  coming  battle ;  bnt 
he  was  not  with  the  king  in  his  expedition  into  Italy. 
There  were  likewise  the  Marshal  de  Gie,  and  several  other 
commanders,  but  their  principal  force  was  the  Swiss,  who 
had  been  in  Italy  with  the  king  ;  for  the  French,  being  so 
near  home,  were  very  unwilling  to  stay  any  longer  in  the 
camp,  and  several  had  already  left  it,  some  with  leave  and 
others  without  it.  From  Vercelli  to  Novara  was  ten  good 
Italian  miles,  that  is  six  French  leagues  ;  the  country  was 
flat  and  dirty,  with  ditches  on  both  sides  the  road,  much 
deeper  than  those  in  Flanders  :  in  winter  the  roads  are  full 
of  mud,  and  in  summer  of  dust.  Between  our  army  and 
Novara  there  was  a  little  town  called  Borgo,  which  we  had 
taken  possession  of;  and  the  enemy  had  another  about  the 
same  distance  from  their  camp,  called  Cameri  :  but  the  waters 
being  up,  the  passage  was  very  difficult  from  one  army  to 
the  other. 

But  as  I  was  saying,  the  steward  of  the  Marquis  of  Man- 
tua's household  and  1  continued  our  conferences.  I  gave  him 
several  reasons  why  his  master  ought  to  be  cautious  of  com- 

*  Francois  de  Bourbon,  Count  of  Vendome,  born  in  1470,  died  on 
the  3rd  of  October,  1495. 


238  THE  MEMOIRS  OF   PHILIP  DE   COMMINES.         [1495. 

ing  to  a  battle.  I  put  him  in  mind  of  the  danger  he  had 
lately  escaped,  and  that  he  would  expose  himself  for  a  people 
who  had  never  rewarded  him  for  services  he  had  done  ;  and 
that,  therefore,  his  wisest  method  would  be  to  endeavour  an 
accommodation,  and  I  promised  to  do  all  that  lay  in  my 
power  to  promote  it.  He  replied  that  his  master  was  well 
enough  inclined,  but  that  it  would  be  necessary  (as  I  had 
received  intimation  before)  that  we  should  make  the  first 
overture,  because  they  looked  upon  their  alliance,  which 
consisted  of  the  Pope,  the  King  of  the  Romans,  the  King  of 
Spain,  and  the  Duke  of  Milan,  to  be  of  greater  dignity  than 
a  single  monarch.  I  answered  that  this  punctilio  was  idle 
and  trifling,  and  that  in  justice  our  king  was  to  be  preferred, 
because  he  was  there  in  person,  and  the  confederates  were 
represented  only  by  their  lieutenants.  But  I  offered,  if  he 
pleased,  that  he  and  I  as  mediators  would  set  the  treaty  on 
foot,  provided  I  could  be  assured  his  master  would  continue 
it,  and  observe  it ;  and  finally  it  was  concluded  that  I 
should  send  a  trumpeter  to  their  army  the  next  morning,  and 
that  I  should  write  to  Signor  Luca  Pisano  and  Signor  Mel- 
chior  Trevisano,  the  two  Venetian  proveditors,  or  commis- 
sioners appointed  to  advise  their  generals  and  superintend 
the  affairs  of  the  army. 

In  pursuance  of  what  we  concluded,  I  wrote  to  the  prove- 
ditors the  substance  of  what  I  had  mentioned  before  to  the 
Marquis  of  Mantua's  steward  ;  and  I  had  a  fair  opportunity 
to  offer  my  mediation,  upon  account  of  the  agreement  made 
between  us  at  my  departure  from  Venice.  Besides,  I  knew  the 
king  was  desirous  of  peace,  and  I  thought  it  necessary, — for 
there  are  always  enough  persons  to  perplex  and  exasperate 
an  affair,  but  few  that  combine  the  good  fortune  and  courage 
necessary  to  compose  so  great  a  difference,  or  to  endure  so 
many  hard  words  as  are  said  by  the  plenipotentiaries  in 
such  negotiations ;  for  in  great  armies  there  is  sure  to  be  a 
variety  of  opinions.  The  proveditors  were  glad  of  the  news, 
and  sent  me  word  I  should  have  an  answer  very  suddenly, 
for  they  sent  post  to  Venice  for  instructions  ;  and  having  a 
speedy  answer  from  the  Signory,  a  count  belonging  to  the 
Duke  of  Ferrara  was  sent  to  our  camp.  The  Duke  of  Fer- 
rarra  had  one  son  in  the  Duke  of  Milan's  service,  and 
another  in  the  king's.     The  count  also  was  in  the  Duke  of 


1 495. J  PROPOSALS  FOR  PEACE.  239 

Milan's  service,  his  name  was  Albertini*  ;  but  his  pretence 
of  coming  into  our  army  was  to  visit  Signor  John  James  di 
Trivulce,  and  to  inquire  after  one  of  his  sons  who  was  then 
in  that  captain's  service.  He  made  application  to  the 
Prince  of  Orange,  according  to  the  agreement  between  the 
steward  and  myself,  and  told  him  he  had  a  commission  from 
the  Marquis  of  Mantua,  and  the  proveditors  and  other  cap- 
tains, to  desire  a  passport  for  the  marquis  and  fifty  horse,  to 
meet  and  confer  with  such  persons  as  the  king  should  de- 
pute ;  and  he  acknowledged  that  in  reason  they  ought  to 
make  the  first  overture  to  the  king,  or  such  as  he  should 
appoint,  and  that  they  would  pay  him  that  honour  ;  and  then 
he  desired  he  might  have  a  private  conference  with  his 
majesty,  which  was  granted  him,  and  in  which  he  advised 
him  not  to  set  any  treaty  on  foot,  assuring  him  that  their 
army  was  in  great  consternation,  and  would  break  up  in  a 
very  short  time.  By  these  words  he  seemed  desirous  to  ob- 
struct that  peace  which  he  was  sent  to  promote,  though  his 
public  commission  was  as  you  have  heard.  Signor  John 
James  di  Trivulce  was  present  when  he  gave  the  king  this 
advice,  and  being  a  great  enemy  to  the  Duke  of  Milan,  he 
had  no  mind  to  the  peace  ;  but,  above  all,  no  man  was  so 
averse  to  it  as  Count  Albertini's  master,  the  Duke  of  Fer- 
rara,  who  desired  the  continuation  of  the  war  upon  account 
of  an  old  pique  against  the  Venetians,  who  had  taken  from 
him  several  territories,  as  the  Polesan  and  others  ;  and  this 
duke  was  therefore  come  himself  into  the  army  of  the  Duke 
of  Milan,  who  had  married  his  daughter. 

As  soon  as  the  king  had  heard  what  the  count  had  to 
offer,  his  majesty  sent  for  me,  and  it  was  warmly  debated 
whether  a  passport  should  be  granted  or  not.  Those  who 
were  against  the  peace  (as  Signor  John  James  di  Trivulce 
and  others,  who  thought  themselves  great  favourers  of  the 
interest  of  the  Duke  of  Orleans,)  were  for  fighting  by  all 
means  ;  but  they  were,  most  of  them,  churchmen,  and  not 
like  to  be  in  the  battle,  and  they  pretended  to  have  certain 
intelligence  that  the  enemy  must  suddenly  raise  the  siege, 
or  be  starved  to  death.  Others  objected  (and  I  was  of  that 
number)  that  we  should  be  starved  first ;  that  the  enemy 
were  in  their  own  country,  and  their  power  too  great  to  be 
*  Albertino  Boschetto. — Guazzo,  p.  218. 


240  THE   MEMOIRS   OP   PHILIP   DE   COMMINES.         [1495. 

bo  easily  destroyed  ;  and  that  such  counsel  proceeded  from 
persons  who  had  a  mind  to  engage  us  in  their  quarrels,  and 
set  us  fighting  purely  to  gratify  their  own  revenge  and  ara» 
bition.  Yet,  for  all  this,  the  passport  was  granted  and  sent, 
signifying,  that  the  next  day  at  two  o'clock  in  the  afternoon, 
the  Prince  of  Orange,  the  Marshal  de  Gie,  the  Lord  de 
Piennes,  and  myself,  with  our  retinue,  should  be  between 
Borgo  and  Cameri,  near  a  certain  tower,  in  which  they 
had  a  guard,  and  that  there  we  should  be  ready  to  enter 
into  a  conference.  At  the  appointed  hour,  we  went  to  the 
place  under  a  strong  guard.  The  Marquis  of  Mantua  and 
a  Venetian  who  had  the  command  of  their  Estradiots  *,  came 
to  us,  and  in  very  civil  language  told  us,  that  for  their 
part  they  were  desirous  of  peace.  For  better  convenience 
of  treating,  it  was  agreed,  that  the  next  day  some  of  their 
deputies  should  come  into  our  camp,  and  that  the  day  after 
some  of  ours  should  go  into  theirs,  which  was  done.  The 
next  morning  there  came  to  us  Signor  Francisco  Bernardino 
Visconti  on  behalf  of  the  Duke  of  Milan,  and  a  secretary 
from  the  Marquis  of  Mantua.  On  our  side,  besides  the 
persons  above  mentioned,  we  had  added  to  us  the  Cardinal 
of  St.  Malo,  and  we  began  to  treat.  They  demanded  Novara, 
in  which  the  Duke  of  Orleans  was  besieged  ;  and  we  in- 
sisted upon  having  Genoa,  saying,  it  was  feudatory  to  the 
king,  and  that  the  Duke  of  Milan  had  confiscated  it.  They 
excused  themselves  as  to  that,  assuring  us  that  their  master 
had  done  nothing  against  the  king  except  in  his  own  de- 
fence ;  that  the  Duke  of  Orleans  had  taken  Novara  from 
them  by  force,  and  begun  the  war  with  our  king's  forces ;' 
and  that  therefore  they  thought  their  masters  would  be 
hardly  persuaded  to  agree  to  these  demands,  but  in  any  thing 
else  would  be  ready  to  comply.  Our  conferences  lasted  two 
days,  after  which  they  returned  to  their  camp,  whither  the 
Marshal  de  Gie,  the  Lord  de  Piennes,  and  myself,  were  sent 
after  them  to  press  for  the  restitution  of  Genoa.  We  would 
have  been  content  that  Novara  should  have  been  sur- 
rendered to  the  forces  of  the  King  of  the  Romans,  which 
were  commanded  by  Signor  George   di  Pietraplantaf ,  the 

*  According  to  Guicciardini  (i.  336.)  his  name  was  Bernardo  Con- 
tarino. 

f  This  is  the  Herberstein  mentioned  in  a  previous  note,  whose  nam* 
is  thus  Italianised  by  Guicciardini  also. 


1495. J         NEGOCIATIONS  AT  VEKCELLI.  241 

Lord  Frederic  Capellare,  and  another  called  Monsieur  Hans  ; 
for  we  found  it  could  not  be  relieved  without  a  battle,  which 
we  had  no  great  inclination  to  venture  ;  and  by  this  means 
(as  we  pretended)  we  proposed  to  acquit  ourselves  very 
honourably  to  the  emperor,  of  whom  the  whole  duchy  of 
Milan  is  held  as  a  fief.  Several  goings  and  comings  there 
were  between  our  camp  and  theirs,  but  we  came  to  no  man- 
ner of  conclusion.  I  continued  constantly  with  them  by 
the  king's  direction  (who  was  unwilling  the  treaty  should 
be  broken  off)  ;  and,  at  last,  our  deputies  came  to  them 
again,  and  with  us  we  had  the  President  de  Gannay,  and 
one  Monsieur  de  Morvilliers,  Bailiff  of  Amiens,  to  speak 
with  them  in  Latin,  (for  till  then  I  had  conducted  the  con- 
ferences in  bad  Italian,)  and  to  draw  up  the  articles.  Our 
manner  of  treating  was  to  go  to  the  duke's  quarters,  and  he, 
in  complaisance,  used  to  meet  us  with  his  duchess  at  the 
end  of  a  gallery,  and  then  sent  us  all  before  him  into  his 
chamber,  where  there  were  two  great  rows  of  chairs  ready 
set,  as  close  as  was  convenient,  and  opposite  to  each  other. 
They  placed  themselves  on  one  side,  and  we  sate  on  the  other. 
The  first  on  their  side  was  the  commissioner  for  the  Kinsr 
of  the  Romans,  then  the  Spanish  ambassador,  then  the 
Marquis  of  Mantua,  after  him  the  two  proveditors,  then 
the  Venetian  ambassador,  then  the  Duke  and  Duchess  of 
Milan,  and  last  of  all  the  ambassador  of  Ferrara.  On  their 
side  none  spoke  but  the  Duke  of  Milan,  and  on  our  side 
nobody  but  one.  It  is  not  our  method  to  discourse  with 
that  sedateness  of  temper  which  they  do,  for  sometimes  two 
or  three  of  us  were  speaking  at  a  time  ;  but  the  duke  always 
interrupted  us  with,  "  Hold,  gentlemen,  one  to  one."  As  we 
were  obliged  to  digest  all  into  articles,  whatever  was  agreed 
upon  was  immediately  put  into  writing  by  one  of  our  secre- 
taries for  us,  and  by  another  of  theirs  for  them  ;  and  this 
was  read  aloud  by  the  secretaries,  one  in  Italian,  and  the 
other  in  French  ;  and  this  was  done  again  at  our  next  meet- 
ing, that  we  might  see  whether  any  thing  had  been  changed  ; 
and  it  is  a  good  way  to  dispatch  any  affair  of  importance. 
This  treaty  was  in  progress  about  a  fortnight  or  longer; 
but  the  first  day  of  our  conference  it  was  concluded  that  the 
Duke  of  Orleans  might  have  liberty  to  come  out  of  Novara, 
to  which  end  a  cessation  of  arms  was  agreed  upon  for  tha* 
vol.  ii.  a 


242  THE    MEMOIRS    OF    PHILIP    DE    COMMIXES.         [1495. 

day,  and  continued  from  day  to  day  till  the  conclusion  of 
the  peace;  and  for  surety  for  the  passage  of  the  Duke  of 
Orleans,  the  Marquis  of  Mantua  delivered  himself  as  a 
hostage  into  the  hands  of  the  Count  de  Foix  ;  and  he  did  it 
voluntarily,  and  more  to  give  us  pleasure  than  from  any 
fear;  yet  first  they  made  us  swear  that  we  were  proceeding 
with  sincerity  and  bona  fides  in  the  treaty  of  peace,  and 
that  we  did  not  do  it  merely  to  deliver  the  duke  out  of 
danger. 


Ch.  XVIT — How  the  Duke  of  Orleans  and  his  Army  were  delivered 
upon  Terms  of  Accommodation  from  the  dire  Misery  they  suffered 
during  their  being  besieged  in  Novara ;  and  of  the  Arrival  of  the 
Swiss  that  came  to  the  Relief  of  the  King  and  the  said  Duke  of  Or- 
leans.— 1495. 

The  Marshal  de  Gie  went  into  the  town  of  Novara,  with 
other  commissioners  deputed  by  the  Duke  of  Milan,  and 
dismissed  the  Duke  of  Orleans,  and  some  few  of  his  attend- 
ants, to  their  very  great  satisfaction.  Those  who  were  in  the 
place  were  so  pressed  with  hunger  and  sickness,  that  the 
marshal  was  forced  to  leave  his  nephew  Monsieur  de  Rome- 
fort*  as  an  hostage,  promising  they  should  all  be  at  liberty  to 
depart  within  three  days.  You  have  heard  how  the  Bailiff 
of  Dijon  had  been  sent  into  Switzerland  to  raise  five  thou- 
sand men  in  all  the  cantons  ;  but  when  the  Duke  of  Orleans 
marched  out  of  Novara  they  were  not  arrived ;  and  it  was 
well  they  were  not,  for  had  they  joined  our  army,  certainly 
(at  least  in  my  judgment)  we  should  have  fought  a  battle  ; 
but  if  we  had  been  sure  that  their  number  would  be  far 
greater  than  we  expected,  we  could  not  have  stayed  till 
their  arrival,  by  reason  of  the  extreme  famine  in  the  town, 
where  two  thousand  people  were  already  dead,  some  with 
hunger,  some  with  disease,  and  the  rest  were  so  lean  and 
meagre  they  looked  more  like  dead  than  living  people  ;  and, 
truly,  I  believe  never  men  endured  more  misery  (unless, 
perhaps,  at  the  siege  of  Jerusalem).     All  which  had  been 

*  Louis  de  Eohau,  Lord  of  Montaubau  aud  Remefort. 


1495."]  EVACUATION   OF   NOVARA.  243 

prevented,  if  they  had  been  so  prudent  as  to  have  brought 
in  all  the  corn  and  provisions  about  the  town  upon  their 
first  coming  into  it:  had  they  acted  so  wisely  they  had 
never  plunged  themselves  into  those  exigencies,  for  the 
enemy  would  have  been  obliged  to  have  abandoned  the  siege, 
and  to  have  marched  shamefully  off. 

Some  three  or  four  days  after  the  Duke  of  Orleans  had 
left  the  town,  it  was  agreed  on  both  sides  that  the  whole 
garrison  should  march  out ;  and  the  Marquis  of  Mantua,  and 
the  Lord  Galeas  di  San  Severino,  (who  commanded  both  the 
Venetians  and  the  Duke  of  Milan's  army,)  had  orders  to  see 
them  safely  conducted  away;  which  was  performed,  and  the 
town  left  in  the  hands  of  the  inhabitants,  under  an  oath  not 
to  deliver  it  either  to  the  French  or  the  Italians  till  the  con- 
clusion of  a  general  peace.  Only  thirty  men  were  put  into 
the  castle,  who  were  supplied  with  provisions  by  the  Duke 
of  Milan,  for  money,  and  they  were  never  to  have  more  pro- 
vision at  a  time  than  was  sufficient  for  one  single  day.  No 
man  that  did  not  see  it,  can  conceive  the  poverty  of  the  gar- 
rison that  marched  out.  They  had  few  or  no  horses  left,  for 
most  of  them  were  eaten ;  and  of  the  five  thousand  men 
that  marched  out,  scarcely  six  hundred  were  able  to  defend 
themselves ;  they  fell  down  frequently  in  the  road  as  they 
inarched  along,  and  the  enemy  were  forced  to  help  them  up 
again.  1  know  I  saved  fifty  of  them,  at  the  cost  of  a  crown, 
not  far  from  the  little  castle  called  Cameri,  which  was  in  the 
enemy's  possession,  by  lodging  them  in  a  garden,  and  giving 
them  warm  broth,  so  that  but  one  of  them  died.  Upon  the 
way  (it  being  ten  miles  between  Novara  and  Vercelli)  four 
more  of  them  died.  The  king  (as  a  token  of  his  compassion) 
caused  eight  hundred  francs  to  be  distributed  amongst  those 
who  came  to  Vercelli,  as  a  benevolence  in  addition  to  their 
pay,  which  was  paid  to  a  farthing,  both  to  the  living  and 
the  dead,  and  particularly  to  the  Swiss,  of  whom  there  were 
near  four  hundred  dead  ;  yet,  notwithstanding  all  the  care 
that  could  be  taken  of  them,  about  thirty  of  them  died  in 
Vercelli,  some  with  eating  too  much,  others  by  diseases,  and 
some  on  the  dunghills  of  the  town. 

About  the  time  that  all  of  them  had  evacuated  the  town, 
except  the  thirty  left  in  the  castle  (and  of  these  one  or  other 
came  away  every  day),  the  Swiss  arrived,  to  the   number 

B3 


244  THE    MEMOIRS    OF    PHILIP   DE    COMMINES.  [1495. 

of  eight  or  ten  thousand,  in  our  camp,  in  which  we  had 
ulready  about  two  thousand  who  had  served  in  our  expedi- 
tion to  Naples.  There  were  also  ten  thousand  more,  but 
they  were  quartered  at  some  distance  from  Vercelli ;  for  the 
kinc  was  advised  not  to  suffer  the  conjunction  of  two  such 
treat  bodies,  which  would  have  amounted  together  to 
wenty-two  thousand  men,  the  greatest  number  (I  think) 
that  ever  came  out  of  their  country  at  one  time  ;  and  I  have 
been  informed  by  those  that  were  well  acquainted  with  the 
affairs  of  Switzerland,  that  they  scarce  left  any  fighting  men 
behind  them  ;  and  those  who  did  come,  came  for  the  most 
part,  in  spite  of  our  teeth,  and  their  wives  and  children 
would  also  have  come  along  with  them,  had  we  not  set 
guards  upon  the  passes  in  Piedmont  on  purpose  to  stop 
them.  It  may  be  demanded  whether  this  extraordinary 
alacrity  proceeded  from  any  extraordinary  affection ;  for 
King  Louis  XL  had  done  them  many  good  offices,  and  con- 
tributed much  to  make  them  a  reputation  in  the  world.  In- 
deed there  were  some  old  soldiers  who  had  a  respect  for  the 
memory  of  King  Louis  ;  and  some  of  their  officers  were 
above  seventy-two  years  old,  and  had  been  captains  in  the 
wars  against  Charles  Duke  of  Burgundy  ;  but  the  chief  mo- 
tives that  induced  them  to  leave  their  own  country  were 
avarice  and  poverty.  To  speak  truth,  all  their  best  men 
came  to  us  ;  and  such  a  number  of  brave  fellows  I  had  never 
seen  before  together  in  my  life ;  and  to  me  it  seemed  im- 
possible to  conquer  them,  unless  by  cold,  famine,  or  some 
other  distress. 

But  to  return  to  the  principal  point  of  our  treaty.  The 
Duke  of  Orleans  having  lived  eight  or  ten  days  at  his  ease 
and  pleasure,  and  being  attended  by  all  sorts  of  people,  was 
told  that  it  had  been  stated,  as  some  diminution  to  his  honour, 
that  such  a  numerous  garrison  as  he  had  in  Novara  should 
have  been  reduced  to  such  necessities;  upon  which  he  began 
to  talk  of  fighting  again,  and  one  or  two  that  were  about 
him  encouraged  him  to  it.  Monsieur  de  Ligny  and  the 
Archbishop  of  Rouen  were  highly  for  his  interest ;  and  some 
mean  persons  bribed  thirty  of  the  Swiss  to  come  of  them- 
selves and  offer  the  enemy  battle  ;  but  without  any  reason, 
»or  the  Duke  of  Orleans  had  only  thirty  men  left  in  the 
*■*(!«,  and  there  was  no  further  occasion  to  fight,  for  the 


1495.]  PEACE  OF  VERCELLI.  243 

king  pretended  no  quarrel  of  his  own,  but  had  come  thither 
only  to  rescue  the  duke  and  his  friends  ;  besides  the  enemy 
were  very  powerful,  and  it  was  impossible  to  attack  them 
in  their  camp;  for  besides  the  natural  strength  of  the  place, 
they  were  strongly  entrenched,  all  the  ditches  were  full  of 
water,  and  there  were  no  forces  but  ours  to  give  them  any 
disturbance,  as  no  sallies  could  be  expected  out  of  the  town. 
Their  army  consisted  of  two  thousand  eight  hundred  men- 
at-arms  barbed,  five  thousand  light  horse,  and  eleven  thou- 
sand five  hundred  Germans  commanded  by  good  officers 
(as  Signor  George  di  Pietraplanta,  Count  Frederic  Capellare, 
and  Monsieur  Hans),  besides  a  great  number  of  foot  ;  so  that 
to  talk  of  attacking  them  in  their  entrenchments,  or  beating 
them  so  easily,  was  but  a  rhodomontade,  and  spoken  in 
flattery.  Another  great  dread  we  had,  and  that  was,  lest 
the  Swiss  should  join  in  one  body,  and  seize  upon  the  king 
and  all  the  chief  officers  of  his  army  (who  were  not  able  to 
resist  their  power),  and  carry  them  into  their  own  country  ; 
and  of  this  there  was  some  appearance,  as  you  will  see  by 
the  conclusion  of  the  peace. 


Ch.  XVIIT. — How  Peace  was  concluded  between  the  King  and  the 
Duke  of  Orleans  on  the  one  Part,  and  the  League  on  the  other;  and 
of  the  Conditions  and  Articles  contained  in  that  Treaty  of  Peace. — 
1495. 

The  debate  about  this  affair  grew  at  last  so  fierce  amongst 
us,  that,  in  the  heat  of  argument,  the  Duke  of  Orleans 
gave  the  Prince  of  Orange  the  lie ;  but  at  last,  the  Marshal 
de  Gie,  the  Lord  de  Piennes,  the  President  Gannay,  the 
Lord  de  Morvilliers,  the  Vidame  of  Chartres*,  and  I,  re- 
turned to  the  enemy's  camp,  and  concluded  a  peace f,  though 
by  several  indications  we  judged  it  unlikely  to  continue 
long ;  but  we  were  under  a  necessity  of  doing  it,  both  in  re- 
spect of  the  season  of  the  year,  our  want  of  money,  and  that 

*   Jacques   de  Vendome,   Prince   of  Chabanois,    and    Vidame    of 
Chartres. 
f  Dated  at  Vercelli,  on  the  10th  of  October,  1495. 

u  3 


246  THE    MEMOIRS    OF    PHILIP    DE    COMMINES.  [1495. 

we  might  come  off  honourably  in  the  business ;  to  which 
end  the  peace  was  concluded  and  engrossed,  so  that  it  might 
be  published  throughout  the  world,  which  was  done  after- 
wards by  the  king's  express  order  in  council,  and  in  the  pre- 
sence of  the  Duke  of  Orleans.  The  substance  of  it  was,  that 
the  Duke  of  Milan  should  serve  the  king  against  all  op- 
posers  ;  that,  at  his  own  proper  charge,  the  Duke  of  Milan 
should  fit  out  two  ships  for  the  relief  of  the  castles  of  Naples, 
which  still  held  out  for  the  king  ;  that  the  next  year  (in  case 
the  king  made  a  new  invasion  upon  that  kingdom),  he  should 
furnish  him  with  three  ships,  and  assist  him  in  person,  and 
give  free  passage  to  his  troops;  that  in  case  the  Venetians 
did  not  accept  the  said  peace  within  two  months'  time,  but 
continued  to  assist  the  House  of  Aragon,  the  duke  should 
then  take  part  with  the  King  of  France  against  them,  and 
employ  his  person  and  interest  in  his  service,  upon  condition 
that  whatever  was  taken  from  the  enemy  should  be  delivered 
to  the  duke,  for  which  terms  he  was  to  remit  to  the  king 
eighty  thousand  of  the  hundred  and  twenty-four  thousand 
ducats  which  he  had  lent  him  in  his  voyage  to  Naples ;  that 
with  regard  to  Genoa,  he  should  put  two  hostages  into  the 
king's  hands ;  that  Castelleto  should  be  committed  to  the 
Duke  of  Ferrara,  as  a  neutral,  for  two  years  ;  that  the  Duke 
of  Milan  should  pay  one-half  of  the  garrison  of  Castelleto, 
and  the  king  the  other  ;  and  that  if  it  should  happen  that  the 
duke  should  at  any  time  attempt  to  do  any  thing  against  the 
king  at  Genoa,  then  the  Duke  of  Ferrara  was  to  deliver 
Castelleto  to  the  king.  He  was  likewise  to  give  two  hostages 
for  Milan,  which  was  performed ;  and  he  would  have  done 
as  much  for  Genoa,  had  not  the  king  been  in  such  haste  to 
be  gone ;  but  as  soon  as  he  went  away,  the  duke  made  use 
of  shifts  and  evasions  to  excuse  himself  from  doing  it. 

Immediately  upon  our  return  from  swearing  the  Duke  of 
Milan  to  observe  this  peace,  and  bringing  word  that  the  Ve- 
netians had  taken  two  months  to  accept  or  refuse  (for  to 
other  terms  we  could  not  persuade  them),  the  king  swore 
likewise  to  observe  the  peace  ;  and  the  next  day  he  resolved 
to  begin  his  march,  as  both  he  and  his  whole  army  had  a 
great  desire  to  return  into  France  ;  but  that  very  night  the 
Swiss  who  were  in  our  camp  began  to  cabal,  and  hold  pri- 
vate consultations  among  the  men  of  their  several  cantons, 


1495.  [  CABALS   OF   THE    SWISS   RECRUITS.  24* 

beating  their  drums  and  standing  to  their  arms  (as  their 
manner  is  when  they  call  any  councils) ;  and  this  I  was  in- 
formed of  by  Monsieur  de  Lor  nay,  who  was  then  (and  had 
been  long  before)  one  of  their  chief  officers,  and  was  well 
acquainted  with  their  language,  and  he  gave  the  king  intelli- 
gence of  it. 

Some,  proposed  to  seize  upon  the  king,  and  all  the  chief 
(that  is  to  say,  the  rich)  officers  of  the  army ;  others  went 
not  so  far,  but  moved  that  they  should  demand  three  months' 
pay,  on  the  score  of  an  old  promise  made  them  by  the  late 
king*  that  such  a  sum  should  be  paid  them  whenever  they 
came  out  of  their  own  country  into  his  service  with  their 
colours  displayed.  Others  were  for  securing  the  chief  mi- 
nisters about  the  king,  without  meddling  with  his  person  ; 
and  this  they  designed  to  put  in  execution,  having  already 
got  a  great  number  of  their  own  troops  into  the  town  ;  but 
before  they  could  come  to  an  agreement  among  themselves, 
the  king  had  left  for  Trinot  (which  is  a  town  belonging  to 
the  Marquis  of  Montferrat).  In  this  they  were  much  in  the 
wrong,  for  there  was  never  but  one  month's  pay  promised 
them,  and  they  had.  done  nothing  for  that.  At  length,  this 
troublesome  affair  was  adjusted;  but  first,  those  Swiss  who 
were  with  us  in  the  expedition  to  Naples,  had  seized  upon 
the  Bailiff  of  Dijon  and  Monsieur  de  Lornay  (who  com- 
manded them  all  along,),  and  pressed  hard  for  a  fortnight's 
pay  before  they  marched ;  but  the  rest  insisted  upon  pay  for 
three  months,  which  in  all  amounted  to  five  hundred  thou- 
sand francs,  for  the  raising  of  which  they  took  hostages  ; 
and  to  this  they  were  animated  by  the  French  themselves, 
who  were  averse  to  the  peace ;  and  of  this  the  Prince  of 
Orange  was  informed  by  one  of  their  captains,  and  he  im- 
mediately informed  the  king  of  it. 

The  king,  upon  his  arrival  at  Trino,  sent  the  Marshal  de 
Gie,  the  President  Gannay,  and  myself,  to  the  Duke  of  Mi- 
lan, to  desire  that  he  would  come  to  him  thither.  We  used 
several  arguments  to  persuade  him,  and  told  him  it  would  be 
a  great  confirmation  of  the  peace ;  but  he  gave  as  many  to 
the  contrary,  and  excused  himself  upon  a  proposition  which 

*  By  a  treaty  made  with  them  in  1474. — Lenglet,  iii.  369. 
f  The  king  arrived  at  Triuo  on  Sunday,  the  11th  of  October,  1495. 

a  4 


248  THE   MEMOIRS  OF   PHILIP  DE   COMMINES.  [1495. 

Monsieur  de  Ligny  had  formerly  made  to  have  him  seized 
upon,  when  he  was  with  the  king  at  Pavia,  and  upon  certain 
expressions  which  the  Cardinal  of  St.  Malo  had  used,  who^ 
at  that  time,  was  the  only  minister  who  had  influence  with 
the  king.  It  is  certain  that  several  idle  words  had  been 
spoken  by  some  about  the  court,  but  yet  the  king  had  a  great 
desire  to  cultivate  a  friendship  with  him.  The  Duke  of 
Milan  was  at  a  place  called  Bolia*,  and  consented  to  a  con- 
ference, provided  it  might  be  upon  some  river,  with  a  bar- 
rier between  them.-!"  As  soon  as  the  king  had  received  his 
answer,  he  removed  to  Quiers  J,  where  he  staid  but  a  night 
or  two,  and  then  marched  away  to  cross  the  mountains, 
having  despatched  me  to  Venice,  and  others  to  Genoa,  to  see 
the  ships  equipped  which  the  Duke  of  Milan  was  to  lend 
him ;  but  the  duke  put  the  king  to  great  expense  in  pre- 
parations, and  at  last  would  not  let  them  go ;  but  instead  of 
keeping  his  promise,  he  sent  two  ships  to  the  enemy. 


Ch.  XIX. — How  the  King  sent  the  Lord  of  Argenton  to  Venice  again, 
to  invite  the  Venetians  to  accept  the  Terms  of  Peace  that  were 
offered,  which  the  Venetians  refused  ;  and  of  the  Tricks  and  Jug- 
glings  of  the  Duke  of  Milan. — 1495. 

The  business  of  my  embassy  to  Venice  at  this  time  was  to 
know  whether  they  would  accept  the  peace,  and  subscribe 
to  three  articles.  The  first  was  to  restore  Monopoli,  which 
they  had  lately  taken  from  us ;  the  second  was  to  withdraw 
the  Marquis  of  Mantua  and  his  forces  out  of  the  kingdom  of 
Kaples,  and  from  the  service  of  King  Ferrand ;  and  the. 
third  was  to  declare  that  King  Ferrand  was  not  compre- 
hended in  their  recent  league,  in  which  mention  was  made 
only  of  the  Pope,  the  King  of  the  Romans,  the  King  of  Spain, 
and  the  Duke  of  Milan.     Upon  my  arrival  at  Venice  they 

*  Bobhio,  the  chief  town  of  the  province  of  that  name  in  the  Sar- 
dinian territories. 

f  Charles  VIII.  refused  to  consent  to  this  proposition,  regarding  su«h 
precautions  as  an  insult  to  his  honour. — Gdicciardini,  i.  350. 

X  The  king  arrived  at  Chieri  on  Sunday,  the  ISth  of  October,  1495. 


1495.]  EMBASSY   TO  VENICE.  249 

received  me  very  honourably,  but  not  quite  in  the  same 
manner  as  when  I  was  there  first,  —  for  then  we  were  at 
peace,  but  now  at  war  with  each  other.  I  delivered  my 
message  to  the  Doge  of  Venice,  who  complimented  me  highly, 
and  told  me  I  was  very  welcome;  and  that  he  would  consult 
with  the  Senate,  and  in  a  short  time  return  me  an  answer. 

For  three  days  together  they  appointed  solemn  processions 
to  be  made,  public  alms  to  be  given,  and  sermons  to  be 
preached  all  over  the  city,  beseeching  God  of  His  grace  tc 
direct  them  in  their  consultations,  which,  as  I  was  informed, 
was  no  more  than  what  they  frequently  do  upon  extraor- 
dinary occasions.  And  truly,  in  religious  affairs,  and  in  the 
beautifying  and  adorning  their  churches,  it  is  a  city  of  the 
greatest  reverence  and  decency  that  ever  I  saw;  and  in 
these  things  I  esteem  them  equal  to  the  Romans,  and  I  ques- 
tion not  but  that  their  Signory  derives  much  of  its  grandeur 
from  this  fact,  and  it  is  worthy  rather  to  be  augmented  than 
lessened.  But  to  the  business  of  my  embassy.  I  waited  a 
fortnight  before  I  had  an  answer,  and  then  it  was  a  refusal 
of  all  I  had  demanded.  They  told  me  they  had  no  war  with 
the  king,  and  that  what  they  had  done  was  only  to  assist 
and  support  the  Duke  of  Milan,  who  was  their  ally,  and  whom 
the  king  had  a  desire  to  destroy ;  yet  they  permitted  their 
Doge  to  talk  with  me  alone,  and  he  offered  very  advantageous 
terms,  which  were,  that  King  Ferrand  should  do  homage  to 
our  king  for  the  kingdom  of  Naples,  by  the  Pope's  consent ; 
that  King  Ferrand  should  pay  our  king  a  yearly  tribute  of 
fifty  thousand  ducats,  besides  a  sum  of  money  down,  which 
they  would  lend  (intending  to  have  the  towns  of  Brindisi, 
Otranto,  Trani,  and  others  in  Apulia,  put  into  their  hands 
for  security  for  the  said  loan)  ;  and  that  King  Ferrand  should 
deliver  up  or  leave  the  king  in  possession  of  some  towns  or 
places  in  Apulia  for  his  security  (and  they  meant  Tarento, 
which  our  king  has  still  in  his  hands*),  and  (if  he  pleased) 
two  or  three  more,  which  they  offered  should  be  on  that 
side,  because  it  was  farthest  from  them,  though  they  pre- 
tended it  was  for  the  convenience  of  his  designs  against  the 
Turk,  of  which  our  king  had  talked  much  at  his  first  en- 
trance into  Italy,  declaring  he  undertook  that  enterprise  for 

*  Tarento  surrendered  to  Frederic  King  of  Naples,  in  1496. 


250  THE    MEMOIRS    OF    PHILIP    DE    COMMINES.  [1495. 

no  other  end  but  to  be  nearer  and  more  ready  to  invade  him; 
but  it  was  an  evil  invention,  a  mere  fraud,  and  we  cannot 
conceal  our  thoughts  from  God.  The  Doge  of  Venice  of- 
fered besides,  that  if  our  king  would  attempt  any  thing 
against  the  Turk,  he  should  have  free  passage  for  his  troops, 
through  all  those  places ;  and  all  Italy  should  contribute : 
the  King  of  the  Romans  would  make  a  diversion  on  his  side  ; 
and  the  king,  in  conjunction  with  them,  would  be  able  to 
govern  all  Italy,  in  such  a  manner  as  to  compel  any  of  the 
princes  as  should  refuse,  to  comply  with  their  orders  ;  and 
that  for  their  part  they  would  assist  his  majesty,  at  their 
own  charge,  with  a  hundred  galleys  at  sea,  and  five  thousand 
horse  on  land. 

When  I  had  my  audience  of  leave,  I  told  the  Doge  and 
Signory  I  would  report  all  faithfully  to  the  king.  1  re- 
turned by  Milan,  and  found  the  Duke  of  Milan  at  Vige- 
vano,  and  the  king's  ambassador  with  him,  who  was  one 
Rigault  d'Oreilles*,  steward  to  his  household.  The  duke  pre- 
tended to  go  a  hunting,  and  came  out  to  meet  me  (for  they 
are  very  civil  to  ambassadors)  and  ordered  me  a  very  noble 
apartment  in  his  castle.  I  begged  that  I  might  have  the 
honour  of  a  private  conference  with  him,  which  at  last  he 
promised  me,  but  with  some  signs  of  reluctancy.  As  the 
castle  of  Naples  still  held  out  for  us,  I  was  resolved  to  press 
for  the  ships  with  which  he  was  bound  to  furnish  us  by  the 
treaty  at  Vercelli.  The  ships  were  ready,  and  he  was  will- 
ing in  appearance  to  send  them  out,  but  Peron  de  Basche 
and  Stephen  de  Neves  being  at  that  time  at  Genoa  on  behalf 
of  our  king,  and  understanding  I  was  at  Vigevano,  wrote  to 
me  immediately,  complaining  of  the  Duke  of  Milan's  treacher- 
ous way  of  dealing,  who  pretended  to  furnish  us  with  ships 
and  had  sent  two  against  us  ;  that  the  governor  of  Genoa 
had  told  them  one  day  that  he  could  not  suffer  the  ships  to 
be  manned  with  French  sailors,  and  another,  that  there 
could  not  be  above  five  and  twenty  of  them  permitted  to  be 
in  any  one  vessel,  with  many  such  trifling  excuses  to  pro- 
tract  and  gain  time,  till  they  had  heard  the  news  of  the  cap- 


*  Rigault  Poreille,  Knight,  Lord  of  Villeneuve,  was  steward  in  ordi- 
nary to  Louis  XI.  and  Charles  VIII.  He  was  appointed  Bailiff  of 
Chartres  in  1496,  and  died  on  the  15th  of  September,  1517. 


1495.]  TREACHERY   OF    THE    DUKE    OF    MILAN.  251 

ture  of  the  castle  of  Naples,  in  which  the  Duke  of  Milan 
knew  there  was  not  provision  enough  for  above  a  month, 
and  that  the  king's  forces  in  Provence  would  be  unable  to 
raise  the  siege  without  the  assistance  of  those  two  ships,  for 
the  enemy  had  blocked  up  the  castle  by  sea  with  a  great 
fleet  furnished  by  the  Venetians  and  the  King  of  Spain  as 
well  as  by  themselves. 

I  was  three  days  with  the  duke ;  the  first  he  spent  most  in 
conference  with  me,  and  seemed  to  be  angry  that  I  was  not 
satisfied  with  his  answer  about  the  ships,  to  which  he  added 
that  though  at  the  treaty  of  Vercelli  he  had  promised  to 
serve,  the  king  with  two  ships,  yet  he  had  never  promised 
that  they  should  be  manned  with  French.  I  replied,  that  in 
my  judgment  that  excuse  was  but  weak  and  trifling,  for  if 
he  should  lend  me  a  good  mule  with  which  to  pass  the  moun- 
tains, what  favour  would  it  be  if  he  should  oblige  me  to  lead 
her  by  the  hand  ?  I  should  only  have  liberty  to  see  her,  but 
no  advantage  unless  I  had  leave  to  mount  her.  After  a 
long  conference  he  conducted  me  into  a  gallery  apart,  where 
I  took  occasion  to  remonstrate  the  great  pains  which  others 
and  myself  had  taken  about  the  treaty  of  Vercelli ;  and  the 
danger  he  would  bring  upon  us  by  acting  so  contrary,  and 
causing  the  king  to  lose  his  castles  in  Naples,  which  would 
be  the  total  loss  of  the  kingdom,  and  an  occasion  of  per- 
petual animosity  between  my  master  and  him,  and  I  offered 
him  the  principality  of  Tarento,  and  the  duchy  of  Bari, 
which  duchy  was  already  his  own.  I  represented  to  him 
the  danger  he  brought  upon  himself  and  all  Italy  by  con- 
senting that  the  Venetians  should  hold  those  places  in 
Apulia;  and  he  confessed  that  what  I  had  urged  was  true, 
especially  in  relation  to  the  Venetians,  but  told  me  plainly 
at  last  he  could  repose  no  confidence  in  our  king. 

Alter  this  discourse  I  took  my  leave  of  the  Duke  of 
Milan,  who  conducted  me  a  league  on  my  way  home,  and 
even  at  my  departure  he  invented  a  more  cunning  lie  (if  it 
be  decent  to  use  such  an  expression  towards  a  prince)  than 
any  of  his  former  falsehoods.  Perceiving  I  was  melancholy, 
he  told  me  on  a  sudden  (as  a  man  who  had  quite  changed 
his  resolutions)  that  he  would  show  himself  my  friend  at 
the  last,  and  do  that  which  should  make  me  acceptable  to  my 
master  ;  and  he  promised  me  that  the  next  day  he  would 


252  THE  MEMOIRS   OP   PHILIP  DE   COMMINES.  [1495 

send  the  Lord  Galeas  (who  was  the  fittest  man  for  that  pur- 
pose) to  see  his  ships  at  Genoa  equipped  and  sent  away  to 
join  our  fleet;  that  he  would  do  the  king  that  service  so  as 
to  save  his  castle,  and  by  consequence  the  whole  kingdom  of 
^Naples  (and  if  he  had  performed  his  promise,  this  would  have 
been  the  result)  ;  and  that  when  the  ships  had  sailed  he 
would  give  me  an  account  of  it  by  a  letter  under  his  own 
hand,  that  the  king  might  have  the  first  news  of  it  from  my- 
self, and  be  sensible  of  the  service  which  I  had  done  him, 
adding  also  that  his  letters  should  overtake  me  before  I  got 
to  Lyons.  Big  with  these  hopes  I  departed,  and  continued 
my  journey  over  the  mountains.  I  knew  the  man,  and  durst 
not  be  too  confident;  yet  I  never  heard  any  courier  behind 
me,  but  I  fancied  he  was  bringing  me  those  letters.  I  passed 
on  till  I  came  to  Chambery,  where  I  found  the  Duke  of 
Savoy,  who  received  me  very  graciously,  and  obliged  me  to 
stay  a  whole  day  with  him.  From  thence  I  proceeded  to 
Lyons  (but  no  letters  overtook  me)  to  give  the  king  an 
account  of  my  transactions ;  for  he  was  tliere  at  that  time, 
giving  himself  up  wholly  to  feastings,  jousts,  and  other  gay 
entertainments,  without  the  least  regard  to  anything  else. 

Those  who  had  been  enemies  to  the  peace  of  Vercelli  were 
extremely  pleased  with  the  Duke  of  Milan's  prevarication  ; 
and  indeed  they  had  reason,  for  their  authority  was  increased 
by  it,  and  I  was  traduced,  which  in  the  like  cases  is  an  ordi- 
nary thing  in  the  courts  of  princes. 

I  was  very  melancholy  and  angry  :  I  informed  the  king  of 
all  I  had  done,  and  showed  him  in  writing  the  offers  which 
the  Venetians  had  made  him ;  but  he  seemed  not  to  value 
them  much,  and  the  Cardinal  of  St.  Malo,  who  at  that  time 
had  the  sole  administration  of  affairs,  valued  them  still  less. 
However,  I  pressed  the  king  again,  believing  it  better  to 
accept  that  offer  than  lose  all ;  for  I  saw  nobody  about  him 
fit  to  manage  such  an  important  affair,  and  those  who  were 
most  able  were  never  consulted,  or  at  least  as  seldom  as  pos- 
sible. The  king  himself  was  inclinable  enough  to  do  it,  but 
loth  to  disphase  those  to  whom  he  had  committed  his  affairs, 
especially  those  who  managed  his  treasury,  namely,  the  Car- 
dinal, his  brothers  and  relations.  This  is  a  fine  example  for 
princes.  It  is  necessary  that  they  should  take  upon  them- 
selves the  conduct  of  their  own  affairs,  and  not  only  call 


1495."  AFFAIRS   OF   NAPLES.  253 

others  to  council  upon  occasion,  but  give  them  equal  autho- 
rity and  countenance  in  certain  matters  ;  for  if  any  minister 
of  state  be  grown  so  great  as  to  became  terrible  to  the  rest, 
and  to  manage  the  whole  aifairs  of  a  kingdom  according  to 
his  own  will  and  pleasure  (of  which  sort  King  Charles  VIII. 
was  never  without  one)  that  minister  is  king  in  reality,  and 
his  master  is  ill  served,  as  King  Charles  was  always  by  his 
ministers,  who  did  their  own  business  well  enough,  but 
neglected  his,  to  his  great  prejudice  and  dishonour. 


Ch.  XX. — How  the  King  forgot  those  that  were  left  behind  at  Naples, 
upon  his  Return  into  France  ;  and  of  the  Dauphin's  Death,  which 
was  a  great  Affliction  to  the  King  and  Queen. — 1495. 

I  arrived  at  Lyons  on  the  12th  of  December,  in  the  year 
1495  ;  and  there  I  found  the  king  and  his  whole  army.  The 
king  had  been  absent  on  his  expedition  about  a  year  and  two 
months.*  The  castles  of  Naples  still  held  out  for  him,  as 
you  have  heard.  The  Lord  de  Montpensier,  his  lieutenant 
in  that  kingdom,  was  at  Salerno  with  the  prince  of  that 
place  ;  the  Lord  d'Aubigny  was  in  Calabria,  where  he  had 
done  signal  service,  though  under  a  long  fit  of  sickness  ;  the 
Lord  Gracian  des  Guerres  was  in  Abruzzo,  Don  Julian  at 
Mount  St.  Angelo,  and  George  de  Suilly  at  Tarento  ;  but  all 
of  them  most  miserably  poor,  and  so  far  abandoned  by  our 
court  that  they  could  seldom  or  never  receive  letters  or  news 
out  of  France,  and  when  they  did,  it  was  nothing  but  shams 
and  promises  without  effect  ;  for  (as  I  said  before)  the  king 
did  nothing  of  himself.  If  they  had  been  supplied  with 
money  in  time,  even  a  sixth  part  of  what  was  spent  after- 
wards to  no  purpose  would  have  saved  that  kingdom  from 
being  lost ;  for  at  length  when  all  was  lost,  they  sent  them 
forty  thousand  crowns  as  part  of  a  year's  pay,  and  yet  if 
that  had  arrived  but  a  month  sooner,  the  calamities  and  dis- 
graces which  they  endured  had  never  befallen  them,  and 

*  The  king  started  from  Grenoble  on  the  13th  of  August,  1494,  and 
arrived  in  that  town  on  his  return,  ou  the  27  th  of  October,  1495. 


254  THE    MEMOIRS    OF    PHILIP    DE    COMM1NES.  [1495. 

their  divisions  had  been  prevented  ;  all  which  was  occa- 
sioned through  the  negligence  of  the  king,  who  managed 
nothing  himself,  and  would  not  so  much  as  hear  anybody 
that  came  from  them,  and  those  whom  he  employed  were 
careless  and  inexperienced,  and  I  think  some  of  them  held  a 
correspondence  with  the  Pope  ;  so  that  in  appearance  God 
had  forsaken  our  king,  and  taken  away  that  grace  with 
which  He  had  hitherto  conducted  him. 

The  king  had  not  been  at  Lyons  above  two  months,  or 
thereabouts,  when  he  received  news  that  his  only  son,  the 
dauphin,  lay  dangerously  ill;  and  three  days  after,  letters 
came  that  gave  an  account  of  his  death.*  The  king  was 
extremely  concerned  at  first,  as  he  ought  to  have  been  out 
of  paternal  affection  ;  yet  his  sorrow  soon  wore  off.  But 
the  queen  (who  was  Anne,  Duchess  of  Bretagne)  took  it 
more  to  heart  than  perhaps  any  other  woman  would  have 
done,  and  her  sorrow  remained  longer  upon  her  ;  and  I  am 
afraid,  that  besides  the  natural  affliction  of  mothers  upon 
the  loss  of  their  children,  her  mind  misgave  her,  and  she 
was  apprehensive  that  some  greater  misfortune  would  soon 
happen  to  her.  The  king  (as  I  said  before)  having  got  over 
his  own  grief,  had  a  great  desire  to  give  the  queen  some 
diversion  at  a  ball  of  young  gentlemen,  which  the  king  had 
appointed  ;  among  the  rest  of  the  dancers,  the  Duke  of 
Orleans  was  one,  who  was  at  that  time  about  thirty-four 
years  oldf ;  but  he  behaved  himself  so,  that  it  was  visible 
to  all  the  court  he  rejoiced  at  the  dauphin's  death,  for  he 
was  (after  him)  next  heir  to  the  crown.  Wherefore  the  king 
and  he  never  spoke  to  one  another  for  a  long  time  after. 
The  dauphin  was  about  three  years  old  when  he  died,  yet 
a  very  handsome  and  precocious  child,  and  not  alarmed  at 
those  things  wherewith  children  are  usually  frighted  ;  for 
which  reason  his  father  was  the  sooner  recovered  from  his 
sorrow,  as  being  fearful  already  lest  he  should  have  grown 
too  fast,  and  lest,  if  his  courage  increased  with  his  years, 
he  would  have  entrenched  upon  his  father's  power  and 
authority ;  for  the  king  was  not  commanding  either  in 
person  or  understanding,  but  of  the  mildest  and  best  dispo- 
sition in  the  world.     By  this  example  we  may  see  to  what 

*  He  died  on  the  6th  of  December,  1495. 
f  He  was  bora  on  the  27th  of  June,  14G2. 


1495.]  ON   THE    SORROWS   OP   PRINCES.  255 

miseries  great  kings  and  princes,  who  grow  jealous  of  their 
own  children,  are  subject.  His  father,  Louis  XI,  though 
so  wise  and  virtuous  a  prince,  was  yet  fearful  of  Charles 
VIIL,  but  he  provided  prudently  against  the  worst,  and 
left  him  the  crown  when  he  was  but  fourteen  years  old. 
Louis  XI.  had  been  no  less  terrible  to  his  father  Charles 
VIL,  for  at  the  age  of  thirteen  years  he  was  in  arms,  and 
confederated  against  him  with  certain  of  the  nobility,  upon 
some  court-quarrels*  and  complaints  against  the  govern- 
ment, (and  this  King  Louis  has  often  told  me  himself,)  yet 
these  troubles  lasted  not  long.  But  when  he  came  to  man's 
estate,  he  had  great  controversy  with  his  father  Charles  VIL, 
retired  into  Dauphiny,  and  from  thence  into  Flanders,  leav- 
ing Dauphiny  to  his  father,. as  has  been  observed  at  the 
beginning    of    these    Memoirs j,    in    relating    the    reign    of 

Louis  XL 

No  creature  is  exempt  from  adversity ;  every  man  eats  his 
bread  in  pain  and  sorrow  :  God  Almighty  promised  it  to 
our  first  parents,  and  he  has  performed  it  very  faithfully 
ever  since  to  all  people.  Yet  there  are  degrees  and  distinc- 
tions of  sorrow,  and  the  troubles  and  vexations  of  the  mind 
are  greater  than  those  of  the  body ;  the  anxiety  of  the  wise 
is  of  one  sort,  and  that  of  the  fool  of  another,  but  that  of 
the  fool  is  the  greater  of  the  two  (though  some  are  of  a 
contrary  opinion)  because  he  is  less  capable  of  comfort. 

The  poor  people,  who  labour,  drudge  and  toil  to  maintain 
themselves  and  their  children,  and  pay  their  taxes  and  sub- 
sidies to  their  princes,  would  have  but  little  comfort  in  this 
world  if  princes  and  great  lords  were  sensible  of  nothing 
but  pleasure,  and  they  of  nothing  but  sorrow  and  misery* 
But  the  thing  is  quite  otherwise;  for,  should  I  endeavour  to 
give  an  account  of  the  sufferings  and  disorders  which  (for 
these  thirty  years)  I  have  seen  endured  by  persons  of  quality 
of  both  sexes,  it  would  swell  to  a  large  volume.  I  do  not 
mean  such  persons  as  Boccace  mentions  in  his  bookj,  but 
such  as  raise  the  envy  of  all  people,  by  their  riches,  health, 

*  The  Pragaerie.     See  Book  VI.  chap.  12. 

f  See  Book  I.  chap.  10. 

I  The  reference  is  here  to  Boccaccio's  treatise,  "De  Casibus  virorum 
et  fcemmarum  illustrium,"  of  which  two  French  translations  existed  at 
the  time  when  Commines  wrote. 


256  THE   MEMOIRS   OF   PHILIP   DE   COMM1NES.         [1495. 

and  prosperity.  Those  who  have  not  conversed  with  them 
so  much  as  I  have  done,  believe  the  condition  of  great  per- 
sons to  be  the  happiest  in  the  world  ;  but  I  have  seen  their 
troubles  and  disquiets,  aroused  upon  such  trifling  occasions, 
as  persons  at  a  distance  could  hardly  believe  ;  an  idle  ap- 
prehension or  an  extravagant  report  disturbs  them  ex- 
tremely ;  and  this  is  the  secret  distemper  that  reigns  in  the 
courts  of  great  princes,  from  whence  many  mischiefs  arise 
to  the  sovereign,  his  ministers  and  subjects ;  and  it  is  so 
great  a  shortener  of  life,  that  there  is  scarce  a  king  of  France 
(since  the  time  of  Charlemagne)  who  lived  to  be  sixty  years 
old. 

Upon  this  bare  suspicion,  when  Louis  XL  came  to  be 
about  that  age,  being  sick  of  that  disease,  he  concluded  him- 
self already  dead.  His  father  Charles  VII.,  who  had  done 
so  many  memorable  things  in  France,  took  a  fancy  that  his 
courtiers  had  a  design  to  poison  him,  and  upon  that  account 
he  ate  nothing.  Charles  VI.  had  his  jealousies  too,  and 
became  crazed  in  his  understanding  upon  a  mere  report. 
Certainly,  princes  are  guilty  of  great  error  in  not  examining, 
or  causing  other  people  to  examine,  such  tales  as  concern 
them,  though,  perhaps,  they  may  be  of  themselves  of  no 
great  importance;  but  this  would  keep  them  from  being  so 
frequently  current,  especially  if  they  confronted  the  accused 
with  the  informer  ;  by  that  means  nothing  would  be  reported 
but  what  was  true.  But  there  are  some  princes  so  stupid  sis 
to  promise  and  swear  to  the  accusers  they  will  never  discover 
them  ;  and  these  are  they  who  are  subject  to  those  anguishes 
and  torments  of  mind  of  which  I  speak  and  who  many  times 
hate  and  injure  the  best  ministers  they  have,  upon  the  bare 
reports  and  calumnies  of  evil-minded  and  designing  people, 
by  which  means  they  occasion  great  mischiefs  and  sorrows 
to  their  subjects. 


H96.]  LOSS   OF   THE   CASTLE   OF   NAPLES.  257 


Ch.  XXI. — How  the  King  received  News  of  the  Loss  of  the  Castle  of 
Naples;  of  the  selling  of  the  Towns  belonging  to  the  Florentines  to 
several  Persons ;  of  the  Treaty  of  Atella  in  Apulia,  much  to  the 
Prejudice  of  the  French;  and  of  the  Death  of  Ferrand,  King  of 
Naples.— M9C. 

The  death  of  the  Dauphin  (only  son  to  Charles  VIII. ), 
occurred  about  the  beginning  of  the  year  1496,  and  was 
the  greatest  loss  that  happened  or  could  possibly  happen  to 
the  king,  for  he  had  never  any  child  afterwards  that  lived. 
But  this  misfortune  came  not  alone  ;  for  at  the  same  time 
he  received  advice  that  the  castle  of  Naples  had  been  sur- 
rendered by  those  whom  the  Lord  de  Montpensier  had  left 
in  it,  under  pressure  of  famine,  and  for  the  safety  of  the 
hostages,  who  had  been  delivered  into  the  enemy's  hands  by 
the  Lord  de  Montpensier.  The  names  of  the  hostages  were 
Monsieur  d'Alegre,  one  of  the  sons  of  the  Lord  de  la  Marche 
d'Ardaine,  one  called  the  Lord  de  la  Chapelle  de  Loudon- 
nois,  and  John  Roquebertin,  a  Catalonian.*  Those  who 
had  been  in  the  castle  were  sent  back  again  by  sea.  After 
this,  another  disgraceful  accident  befel  him,  and  that  was, 
that  one  Entragues,  who  was  governor  of  the  citadel  of  Pisa 
(which  was  strong,  and  commanded  the  whole  town),  deli- 
vered it  up  to  the  Pisans ;  which  was  contrary  to  the  king's 
oath,  for  he  had  sworn  twice  to  the  Florentines  to  deliver 
the  said  citadel  to  them,  and  other  places,  as  Sarzana,  Sar- 
zanello,  Pietrasanta,  Librefatto,  and  Mortron,  which  the 
Florentines  had  lent  the  king  in  his  necessities,  at  his  first 
coming  into  Italy,  and  had  given  him  six  score  thousand 
ducats,  of  which  there  were  not  above  thirty  thousand  in 
arrear  when  he  returned  into  France,  as  has  been  men- 
tioned in  another  place. f  In  short,  all  these  places  were 
sold ;  the  Genoese  bought  Sarzana  and  S.irzanello,  and  they 
were  sold  by  the  Dastard  of  St.  Paul.  J    Monsieur  Entragues 

*  See  Book  VIII.  Chap.  15. 

f  See  Book  VII.  Chap.  11. 

^  The  Bastard  of  Roussi,  one  of  the  lieutenants  of  the  Lord  d'En- 
tragues,  sold  Sarzana  to  the  Lur  :ese  for  30,000  florins. — SinuoMOI, 
xii.  379. 

VOL.    U.  S 


258  THE   MEMOIRS   OP   PHILIP   DE    COMMINES.  ("1496. 

sold  Pietrasanta  to  the  citizens  of  Lucca*,  and  Libre- 
fatto  to  the  Venetians,  to  the  great  dishonour  of  the  king 
and  his  subjects,  and  to  the  detriment  and  I  may  say  de- 
struction of  the  kingdom  of  Naples.  The  first  oath  King 
Charles  VIII.  took  for  the  restitution  of  those  places  was  at 
Florence,  upon  the  high  altar  in  the  great  church  of  St. 
John ;  the  second  was  at  Asti,  on  his  return,  where  the 
Florentines  furnished  him  in  his  extremity  with  thirty 
thousand  ducats,  upon  condition  that  if  Pisa  were  surren- 
dered to  them,  the  king  should  be  discharged  of  the  said 
sum,  and  all  his  jewels  and  pawns  should  be  restored ;  and 
they  were  to  lend  him  threescore  thousand  more,  to  be  paid 
down  in  the  kingdom  of  Naples,  to  those  whom  his  majesty 
had  appointed  to  manage  his  affairs  there,  and  to  maintain 
at  their  charge  three  hundred  horse  for  the  service  of  our 
king  in  the  kingdom  of  Naples,  which  were  to  continue 
there  during  the  whole  expedition  ;  but  upon  the  selling  of 
Pisa  and  the  rest  of  the  towns  all  was  at  an  end,  and  the 
king  was  obliged  to  repay  the  thirty  thousand  ducats  which 
the  Florentines  had  lent  him,  and  all  this  by  the  dis- 
obedience and  whisperings  of  some  persons  about  the  king, 
who  had  given  private  encouragement  to  Entragues  to  act 
thus  in  the  business. 

About  the  same  time,  in  the  beginning  of  the  year  1496, 
the  Lord  de  Montpensier,  the  Lord  Virgil  Ursini,  Signer 
Camillo  Vitelli,  and  the  rest  of  the  French  officers,  seeing 
that  all  was  lost,  took  the  field,  and  made  themselves  masters 
of  several  small  towns  ;  upon  which  King  Ferrand,  the  son 
of  Alphonso  (who  was  turned  monk,  as  you  have  heard 
before),  with  the  Marquis  of  Mantua,  brother  to  the  Lord 
Montpensier's  wifef,  and  captain-general  of  the  Venetians, 
drew  out  against  them,  and  found  the  Lord  de  Montpensier 
in  a  town  called  Atella,  situated  very  disadvantageously  for 
the  supply  of  provisions.  The  enemy  immediately  encamped 
on  a  hill,  and  fortified  themselves  as  strongly  as  they  could, 
not  daring  to  venture  a  battle,  for  King  Ferrand  and  the 
Marquis  of  Mantua  had  been  beaten  by  us  in  every  engage- 
ment  they  had  fought.      The  Venetians  had  in  pledge  six 

*  For  twenty  four  thousand  florins. — Sismondi,  xii.  379. 
f  Clara  dc  Gouzuga. 


1496.]    MT7TINT  OF   THE   FRENCH    TROOPS   AT   ATELLA.        259 

towns*  in  Apulia,  of  very  great  importance,  namely,  Brin- 
disi,  Trani,  Gallipoli,  Crana,  Otranto,  Monopoli,  and  Ta- 
rento,  which  last  they  had  taken  from  us.  And  they  lent  some 
money  to  King  Ferrand,  but  they  valued  the  service  of  their 
forces  in  that  kingdom  so  high,  that  it  was  computed  and 
charged  upon  the  said  towns  at  two  hundred  and  fifty 
thousand  ducats,  besides  what  they  demanded  for  the  forti- 
fications and  other  expenses  in  keeping  them ;  so  that  I  am 
persuaded  they  have  no  intention  to  restore  themf;  for  it 
is  not  their  custom  to  part  with  anything  that  is  for  their 
convenience,  as  those  towns  are,  lying  all  upon  the  Gulf  of 
Venice,  and  making  them  absolute  lords  of  it.  from  Venice 
to  Otranto,  which  is  nine  hundred  miles  complete.  The 
Pope,  indeed,  has  Ancona  and  some  few  other  towns  between 
them  ;  but  all  must  pay  duties  to  the  Venetians,  or  there  is 
no  passing  through  the  Gulf;  so  that  it  was  a  great  ad- 
vantage to  them  to  have  those  towns  in  their  hands,  and 
perhaps  more  than  many  people  imagine,  for  they  receive 
from  them  great  quantities  of  corn  and  oil,  which  are  two 
commodities  very  beneficial  and  necessary  for  them. 

At  the  town  of  Atellaf  above-mentioned,  our  troops 
began  to  mutiny,  not  only  for  provisions  (which  were  he- 
ginning  to  fail),  but  for  their  pay,  for  there  was  already  an 
arrear  due  to  them  for  above  eighteen  months,  and  they  had 
suffered  very  great  hardships.  The  Swiss,  too,  were  largely 
in  arrear,  but  not  altogether  so  much,  for  all  the  money  the 
Lord  de  Montpensier  could  raise  in  that  kingdom  went  to 
the  payment  of  them,  and  yet  they  had  above  a  year  due  to 
them.  They  had,  however,  plundered  several  little  villages, 
and  got  a  considerable  booty.  If  the  forty  thousand  ducats 
which  had  been  so  often  promised  had  been  sent  in  time,  or 
had  they  known  they  would  receive  them  at  Florence,  this 
mutiny  had  never  happened  ;    but  now  all  that  was  done 

*  The  Venetians  were  forced  to  surrender  all  these  towns  to  Ferdi- 
nand the  Catholic  in  1509,  after  the  bloody  battle  of  Agradel,  which 
utterly  broke  their  power. 

■J-  Atella,  a  town  of  the  kingdom  of  Naples,  lies  intrenched  among 
the  Apennines,  on  the  western  border  of  the  Basilieate.  It  is  situated  in 
a  broad  valley  encompassed  by  a  lofty  amphitheatre  of  hill  ,  through 
which  flows  a  little  river,  tributary  to  the  Qfanto,  and  watering  the 
town. 

8   2 


260  THE   MKMOIRS   OF    PHILIP   DE    COMMINES.  [   496. 

proceeded  merely  from  despair.  Several  of  the  commanders 
have  told  me  since,  that  if  our  men  would  have  agreed  to 
have  ventured  a  battle,  in  all  likelihood  the  victory  would 
been  theirs,  or  if  they  had  lost  it,  it  could  not  have  been 
with  the  destruction  of  half  so  many  as  they  lost  by  their 
base  and  dishonourable  surrender.  The  Lords  de  Mont- 
pensier  and  Virgil  Ursini  would  willingly  have  fought,  and 
they  died  in  prison,  and  not  one  of  the  articles  of  their 
treaty  was  observed  to  them.  These  two  gentlemen  accused 
the  Lord  de  Percy  (a  young  gentleman  of  Auvergne),  of 
having  been  the  occasion  of  their  not  fighting  ;  and  the 
truth  is,  the  Lord  de  Percy  was  an  ill-conditioned  and 
mutinous  knight. 

There  were  two  sorts  of  Germans  in  that  army*  ;  one 
was  the  Swiss,  of  whom  we  had  about  one  thousand  five 
hundred,  who  had  been  with  us  from  the  beginning  of  our 
expedition,  and  they  served  us  faithfully  and  as  well  as  men 
could  do  to  the  very  last.  There  was  another  commonly 
called  Lansquenets,  which  is  as  much  as  to  say,  Companions 
of  the  Country,  and  these  have  a  natural  antipathy  to  the 
Swiss ;  they  are  a  collection  from  all  the  countries  upon  the 
Rhine,  Swabia,  the  Pays  de  Vaux  in  Sequania,  and  Guelder- 
land ;  and  they  consisted  of  about  seven  or  eight  hundred 
men  lately  sent  thither,  with  two  months'  pay  in  advance, 
which  was  spent  by  them  before  they  arrived.  Seeing 
themselves  in  such  danger  and  distress,  they  retained  not 
that  affection  to  us  which  the  Swiss  did,  but  began  to  hold 
parleys,  and  by  degrees  revolted  to  the  enemy ;  upon  which 
and  the  division  among  our  commanders,  the  soldiers  made 
a  villanous  and  infamous  agreement,  which  King  Ferrand 
swore  to  observe ;  for  the  Marquis  of  Mantua  took  great 
care  to  secure  the  person  of  the  Lord  de  Montpensier,  his 
brother-in-law. 

By  the  said  agreement  they  delivered  themselves  into  the 
hands  of  their  enemies,  gave  them  all  the  artillery  which  be- 

*  Du  Bos  similarly  discriminates  between  the  character  of  the  German 
Landsknechts  and  the  Swiss.  He  s-ays:  "  The  Lansquenets  were,  gone- 
rally  speaking,  much  better  made  men,  and  much  better  looking  in  their 
armour,  than  the  Swiss  infantry;  but  they  were  incapable  of  discipline. 
Unlike  the  Swiss,  they  paid  no  obedience  to  their  commanders,  and  had 
no  friendship  for  their  comrades." — Ligue  de  Cambrat,  vol.  L  p.  66. 


1496.]  CALITULATION  AT  AT  ELLA.  261 

longed  to  our  king,  and  promised  to  restore  nil  the  places 
which  our  king  possessed  in  that  kingdom,  as  well  in  Cala- 
bria, where  the  Lord  d'Aubigny  commanded,  as  in  Abruzzo, 
where  the  Lord  Gracian  des  Gruerres  was  chief;  besides 
Gaeta  and  Tarento.  Upon  which  terms  King  Ferrand 
undertook  to  send  them  into  Provence  by  sea,  and  their 
bag&rage  with  them,  which  was  worth  little  or  nothing.* 
They  were  about  five  or  six  thousand  men,  and  King  b er- 
rand caused  them  to  be  conducted  to  Naples.  So  ignomi- 
nious an  agreement  had  not  been  made  before  in  our  times, 
nor  did  I  ever  read  of  any  like  it,  unless  it  was  that  which 
(as  Titus  Livius  reports  f)  was  made  by  the  two  Roman 
consuls  with  the  Samnites  (who  are  nowr  supposed  to  be  the 
inhabitants  of  Beneventum)  at  a  certain  place  upon  the 
mountains,  which  was  then  called  the  Caudine  Forks  ;  but 
the  Romans  refused  to  ratify  and  confirm'  it,  and  sent  the 
two  consuls  back  prisoners  to  the  enemy. 

If  our  army  had  fought  and  been  defeated,  we  had  not  lost 
bo  great  a  number  of  men  as  we  did,  for  two-thirds  of  them 
died  of  famine  and  plague  on  ship-board,  and  in  the  Isle  of 
Procida,  whither  they  were  sent  afterwards  by  King  Ferrand  ; 
among  the  rest,  the  Lord  de  Montpensier  died  there,  some 
say  of  poison,  others  of  a  fever,  (which  I  rather  believe). 
And  I  think  of  their  whole  number  there  came  not  above 
one  thousand  five  hundred  back;  for  of  the  Swiss,  who 
were  one  thousand  three  hundred,  there  returned  not  above 
three  hundred  and  fifty,  and  those  in  a  weak  and  miserable 

*  The  capitulation  was  signed  at  Atella  on  the  21st  of  July,  1496. 
The  terms  were  soon  arranged  with  the  King  of  Naples,  who  had  no 
desire  but  to  rid  his  country  of  the  invaders.  It  was  agreed  that  if  the 
French  commander  did  not  receive  assistance  in  thirty  days,  he  should 
evacuate  Atella,  and  cause  every  place  holding  under  him  in  the  kingdom 
of  Naples,  with  all  its  artillery,  to  be  surrendered  to  King  Ferdinand, 
and  that,  on  these  conditions,  his  soldiers  should  be  furnished  with  ves- 
sels to  transport  them  back  to  France;  that  the  foreign  mercenaries 
should  be  permitted  to  return  to  their  own  homes;  and  that  a  general 
amnesty  should  be  extended  to  such  Neapolitans  as  returned  to  their 
allegiance  in  fifteen  days.  The  reproach  which  Commines  casts  on 
the  authors  of  this  treaty  is  certainly  unmerited,  and  comes  with  an  ill 
grace  from  a  court  which  was  wasting  in  riotous  indulgence  the  very 
resources  indispensable  to  the  brave  and  loyal  subjects  who  were  eudea- 
Tourmg  to  maintain  its  honour  in  a  foreign  laud. 

•{■  iu  the  eleventh  book  of  his  history. 

t  8 


262  THE  MlCMOIfcS   OF   PIIIMP   DE   COMMINES.  [1496. 

condition.  These  Swiss  were  highly  to  be  commended  for 
their  loyalty  ;  for  they  would  never  bear  arms  under  King 
Ferrand,  but  chose  rather  to  die,  as  many  of  them  did  in 
the  island  of  Procida,  some  of  a  calenture,  some  of  other 
diseases,  and  some  of  very  hunger ;  for  it  is  not  to  be 
imagined  in  what  want  of  food  they  were  kept  on  ship-board, 
and  how  loner.  I  saw  some  of  those  who  returned,  and 
particularly  the  Swiss,  who  brought  back  all  their  colours  ; 
but  by  their  looks  one  might  see  what  they  had  suffered  ; 
for  all  of  them  were  so  very  sick,  that  when  they  came 
ashore  to  take  a  little  air,  they  could  not  walk  without  being 
supported.  The  Lord  Virgil  Ursini  by  his  articles  was  to 
have  had  liberty  to  return  into  his  own  country  with  his 
son*,  and  his  whole  regiment;  but  they  detained  him,  and 
his  lawful  son  with  him  (of  which  sort  he  had  but  one); 
yet  he  had  a  bastard  who  was  a  brave  man,  called  Signor 
Carlo  f ;  but  he  was  killed  by  certain  Italians  who  were  in 
his  company  upon  the  road.  Had  this  misfortune  fallen 
upon  any  but  those  who  had  a  hand  in  the  treaty,  it  had  been 
a  very  deplorable  accident  4 

*  Gian  Giordano  Orsini,  Lord  of  Bracciano. 

t  Carlo  Orsini,  Count  of  Anguillara. 

X  The  misfortune?  of  the  French,  after  the  surrender  of  Atella,  are 
thus  described  by  Mr.  Prescott:  "Unfortunately  Montpensier  was  un- 
able to  enforce  the  full  performance  of  his  own  treaty:  as  many  of  the 
French  refused  to  deliver  up  the  places  entrusted  to  them,  under  the 
pretence  that  their  authority  was  derived  not  from  the  viceroy  but  from 
the  king  himself.  During  the  discussion  of  this  point,  the  French  troops 
were  removed  to  Baiae  and  Pozzuolo  and  the  adjacent  places  on  the  coast. 
The  unhealthiness  of  the  situation,  together  with  that  of  the  autumnal 
season  and  an  intemperate  indulgence  in  fruit  and  wine,  soon  brought 
on  an  epidemic  among  the  soldiers,  which  swept  them  off  in  great  num- 
bers. The  gallant  Montpensier  was  one  of  the  first  victims.  He  refused 
the  earnest  solicitations  of  his  brother-in-law,  the  Marquis  of  Mantua,  to 
quit  his  unfortunate  companions,  and  retire  to  a  place  of  safety  in  the 
interior.  The  shore  was  literally  strewed  with  the  bodies  of  the  dying 
and  the  dead.  Of  the  whole  number  of  Frenchmen,  amounting  to  not 
less  than  five  thousand,  who  marched  out  of  Atella,  not  more  than  five 
hundred  ever  reached  their  native  country.  The  Swiss  and  other  mer- 
cenaries were  scarcely  more  fortunate.  '  They  made  their  way  back  as 
they  could,  through  Italy,'  says  Giovio,  '  in  the  most  deplorable  state 
of  destitution  and  suffering;  the  gaze  of  all,  and  a  sad  example  of  the 
caprice  of  fortune.'  Such  was  the  miserable  fate  of  that  brilliant  and 
formidable  army  which,  scarcely  two  years  before,  had  poured  uowu 


1496.J  DEATH    O*    KINO    FERDINAND.  263 

Not  long  after  King  Ferrand  had  gained  this  honour,  and 
newly  married  the  daughter  of  his  grandfather  King 
Ferrand,  whom  he  had  by  the  present  King  of  Castile's 
sister  (so  that  his  queen  was  sister  to  his  own  father  King 
Alphonso),  and  who  was  a  young  lady  not  above  thirteen  or 
fourteen  years  old,  he  fell  into  a  hectic  fever,  and  died  in  a 
few  days.*  He  left  the  possession  of  his  kingdom  to  King 
Frederic  (now  reigning)  who  was  his  uncle.  I  cannot  think 
of  this  marriage  without  horror,  though  there  were  several 
of  the  same  nature  in  that  family  within  the  memory  of 
man,  and  that  within  the  space  of  thirty  years.  He  died 
not  long  after  that  infamous  treaty  of  Atella  in  the  year 
1496.  King  Ferrand,  when  he  was  living,  and  Frederic 
since  his  accession  to  the  throne,  excused  themselves,  be- 
cause the  Lord  de  Montpensier  had  not  surrendered  the 
towns  that  were  mentioned  in  the  articles  of  agreement ; 
but  it  was  not  in  his  power,  for  Gaeta  and  other  places 
were  not  in  his  hands;  and  indeed  though  he  was  our  king's 
lieutenant  in  that  kingdom,  yet  the  governors  of  the  re- 
spective towns  were  not  bound  to  surrender  them  at  his 
command,  though  if  they  had,  our  king  had  been  no  great 
loser  by  the  bargain ;  for  they  afterwards  cost  a  great  deal 
to  repair  and  victual :  and  so  they  were  lost  at  last.  I  was 
present  myself  when  provisions  were  sent,  once  to  the  casties 
of  Naples,  and  thrice  to  Gaeta  ;  and  I  think  I  should  not  mis- 
take if  I  said  those  four  supplies  cost  the  king  above  three 
hundred  thousand  francs ;  and  yet  all  came  to  nothing. 

on  the  fair  fields  of  Italy  in  all  the  insolence  of  expected  conqjest." — > 
History  of  Ferdinand  and  Isabella,  vol.  ii.  p.  300 

*  Ferdinand  died  on  the  7th  of  September,  1496,  in  the  twenty-eighth 
year  of  his  age,  and  second  of  his  reign.  He  was  the  fifth  monarch 
•who,  in  the  brici  compass  of  three  yeats,  had  sat  on  the  disastrous  thxona 
of  Naples. 


264  THE   MEMOIRS   OF   PIIILIP  DE   COMMLNF.fl.        [1496. 


Ch  XXII. — How  several  Plots  were  formed  (in  favour  of  our  King)  by 
some  of  the  Italian  Princes,  not  only  for  the  Recovery  of  Naples,  but 
for  the  Destruction  of  the  Duke  of  Milan;  how  they  miscarried  for 
want  of  Supplies;  and  how  another  Design  against  Genoa  came  to 
tl.e  same  ill  End. — 1496. 

The  king,  after  his  return  from  his  expedition  to  Naples, 
as  we  have  already  mentioned,  continued  a  long  time  at 
Lyons,  entertaining  himself  with  jousts  and  tournaments; 
and  though  still  desirous  to  regain  the  places  he  had  lost  in 
the  kingdom  of  Naples,  whatever  it  cost  him,  he  would  take 
no  pains  to  manage  his  own  affairs.  He  had  very  good 
intelligence  in  Italy,  and  great  designs  were  set  on  foot  in 
his  favour;  which  could  easily  have  been  managed  by  the 
kingdom  of  France,  which  is  very  populous,  and  plentiful  in 
corn,  especially  in  Languedoc  and  Provence,  and  other  coun- 
tries, out  of  which  it  is  no  difficult  task  to  raise  money. 
But  if  any  other  prince  besides  the  King  of  France  should 
embrace  the  cause  of  the  Italians,  and  undertake  their  as- 
sistance, it  would  impoverish  and  exhaust  him  to  no  purpose; 
for  they  will  do  nothing  without  money  ;  nor,  indeed,  are 
they  able  to  do  anything,  unless  it  be  the  Duke  of  Milan,  or 
some  of  the  great  States.  But  a  private  governor  or  general, 
how  well  affected  soever  he  may  be  to  the  House  of  France, 
and  its  pretensions  to  the  kingdom  cf  Naples,  or  the  duchy 
of  Milan,  let  him  be  as  devoted  as  he  will  to  its  interest 
(and  from  Italians  you  must  expect  nothing  more  than 
partisanship),  yet  he  cannot  serve  that  house  long  after  the 
pay  begins  to  fail  ;  for  the  poor  general  would  be  deserted 
by  his  own  soldiers,  and  would  himself  be  utterly  undone  ; 
because  for  the  most  part  they  have  nothing  wherewith  to 
raise  men,  but  their  reputation  and  credit ;  and  the  soldiers 
are  paid  by  the  general,  and  the  general  by  him  who  employs 
him  in  his  service. 

But  as  to  the  designs  which  I  have  mentioned  as  being  so 
considerable,  they  began  before  the  surrender  of  Gaeta,  upon 
the  Duke  of  Milan's  not  keeping  his  promise,  and  continued 
for  two  years  after  our  king's  return.  As  for  the  Duke  of 
.Milan,  he  did  not  break  his  promise  so  much  out  of  malice 


1496.  j  FRENCH   INTRIGUES   IN    ITALY.  265 

and  deceit,  as  through  fear;  for  he  was  fearful  that  the  king 
could  not  have  so  great  an  addition  to  his  power,  without 
some  diminution  of  his  own  ;  besides,  he  did  not  think  our 
king  a  prince  of  any  firmness  or  resolution.  At  length  it 
was  concluded  that  the  Duke  of  Orleans  should  march  to 
Asti  with  a  considerable  body  of  forces;  and  I  saw  him  and 
his  troops  ready  to  set  out.  We  were  secure  of  the  Duke 
of  Ferrara  with  five  hundred  men-at-arms  and  two  thousand 
foot  (though  he  was  the  Duke  of  Milan's  father-in-law); 
for  he  joined  with  us  to  preserve  himself  against  the  danger 
he  was  in  between  the  Duke  and  the  Venetians,  who  not 
long  previously  (as  I  have  said  before*)  had  taken  from 
him  the  the  Polesan,  and  endeavoured  all  they  could  to  ruin 
him  :  upon  which  account  he  preferred  his  own  and  his 
children's  safety  before  the  friendship  of  his  son-in-law ; 
and  perhaps  he  was  of  opinion  that  his  son-in-law  would,  by 
his  mediation,  come  to  some  agreement  with  the  king,  when 
he  found  himself  in  danger.  We  had  also  engaged  the 
Marquis  of  Mantua  on  our  side,  who  had  been,  and  was  at 
that  time  general  for  the  Venetians ;  but  they  were  so 
jealous  of  him,  and  he  so  dissatisfied  with  them,  that  he  re- 
mained with  three  hundred  men-at-arms  with  his  father-in- 
law  the  Duke  of  Ferrara,  for  his  wife  was  sister  to  the 
Duchess  of  Milan,  and  the  Duke  of  Ferrara's  daughter. 
Signor  John  Hentivoglio  (who  was  governor,  and  as  it  were 
Prince  of  Bologna,)  was  to  have  provided  a  hundred  and 
fifty  men-at-arms,  besides  the  horse  and  foot  which  his  two 
sons  were  to  have  brought  with  them,  and  his  country  was 
well  situated  for  an  attack  on  the  Duke  of  Milan.  The 
Florentines,  who  saw  they  were  utterly  undone,  and  were 
afraid  they  should  be  dispossessed  of  Pisa  and  the  rest  of 
their  towns,  unless  they  exerted  themselves,  and  did  some- 
thing extraordinary  in  this  critical  juncture  of  affairs,  agreed 
to  assist  us  with  eight  hundred  men-at-arms,  and  five  thou- 
sand foot,  and  to  maintain  them  at  their  own  expense  ;  and 
they  had  six  months'  pay  ready  in  bank.  The  Ursini  and 
the  Prefect  of  Romef  (who  was  brother  to  the  Cardinal  of 
St.  Peter  ad  Vincula,  so  often  mentioned  before),  who  were 

*  Sec  Book  VI r.  Chap  3. 

f  Giovauni  dclla  Bovere,  Duke  of  Sora.     See  Book  V1L  C  naj*.  It. 


266  THE    MEMOIRS   OF   PHIUP   DE   COMMINES.  [1496. 

in  the  king's  pay,  would  have  brought  a  thousand  men-at- 
arms,  but  you  must  know  the  retinue  and  equipage  of  their 
men-at-arms  is  not  so  great  as  ours ;  for  they  have  no 
archers,  but  their  pay  is  alike  ;  for  the  pay  of  a  man-at-arms 
(if  he  is  well  paid)  is  one  hundred  ducats  a  year,  but  if  he 
be  attended  by  archers  it  is  double.  These  soldiers  the  king 
would  have  paid,  but  tlie  Florentines  were  to  have  paid  their 
own  forces.  The  Duke  of  Ferrara,  the  Marquis  of  Mantua, 
and  Signor  Bentivoglio  desired  only  their  expenses  ;  for  they 
expected  their  reward  out  of  the  towns  which  they  should 
take  from  the  Duke  of  Milan,  had  he  been  suddenly  invaded 
by  the  Duke  of  Orleans'  forces.  And  of  those  who  were  hi3 
confederates,  none  would  have  been  able  to  avoid  siding 
with  the  king  against  the  Venetians ;  and  for  less  than 
eighty  thousand  crowns  the  king  could  have  kept  all  these 
Italians  together  a  long  time;  and  if  the  Duke  of  Milan  had 
been  conquered,  the  kingdom  of  Naples  would  have  fallen  of 
course. 

The  miscarriage  of  this  important  design  proceeded 
merely  from  the  Duke  of  Orleans'  inconstancy.  He  in- 
tended over-night  to  set  out  in  the  morning  ;  he  had  sent 
all  his  equipage,  baggage,  and  whatever  else  belonged  to  big 
person,  before  him  ;  so  that  there  was  nothing  to  follow  but 
himself.  His  army,  consisting  of  eight  hundred  French 
men-at-arms  and  six  thousand  foot  (among  whom  were 
four  hundred  Swiss),  lay  ready  at  Asti,  and  their  pay  iiv 
advance  in  their  pockets  ;  yet  on  a  sudden  he  changed  his 
mind,  and  made  two  several  requests  to  the  king,  that  the 
expedition  might  be  once  more  debated  before  the  council ; 
and  it  was  done  twice.  I  was  present  on  both  occasions : 
the  result  was,  nemine  contradicente  (though  there  were 
always  ten  or  twelve  in  council),  that  he  should  proceed  on 
the  expedition  ;  because  they  had  given  their  above-men- 
tioned friends  in  Italy  repeated  assurances  of  his  coming  ; 
and  they  had  raised  men,  and  been  at  great  expense  in  ex- 
pectation of  him.  But  the  Duke  of  Orleans  (either  by  the 
advice  of  some  other  person,  or  through  his  own  unwilling- 
ness to  go,  on  account  of  the  king's  illness,  and  his  being  the 
next  heir  to  the  crown,)  plainly  declared  he  would  not  under- 
take that  enterprise  upon  any  quarrel  of  his  own  ;  but  as  he 
was  the  king's  lieutenant,  if  his  majesty  pleased  to  command 


1496.]  DESIGNS   ON    GENOA.  267 

it,  he  would  go  with  all  his  heart ;  and  so  the  council  broke 
up.  The  next  day,  and  several  days  after,  the  Florentine 
envoys,  and  the  rest  of  the  ambassadors,  pressed  the  king, 
that  he  would  command  the  duke  to  go ;  but  the  king's 
answer  was,  that  he  would  never  send  him  to  make  war 
against  his  inclinations.  And  thus  was  that  enterprise 
quashed  in  a  moment,  to  theking's  great  displeasure,  who  had 
been  at  vast  charges,  and  had  great  hopes  of  revenging  him- 
self on  the  Duke  of  Milan,  considering  his  own  alliances  at 
that  time,  and  what  he  might  have  had  by  Signor  John 
James  de  Trivulce,  who  was  lieutenant-general  for  the  king; 
and  that  the  Duke  of  Orleans  was  born,  and  had  great  in- 
terest and  alliance  in  the  duchy  of  Milan,  where  many  persons 
would  have  supported  him. 

But  though  this  design  miscarried,  another  revived,  nay 
two  or  three  at  a  time,  in  Genoa,  which  is  a  place  ever 
prone  to  revolutions.  One  was  contrived  by  Signor  Bap- 
tista  di  Campoforgoso*,  a  great  leader  of  faction  in  Genoa; 
but  he  was  banished,  and  his  party  could  do  nothing;  nor 
could  the  family  of  Doria,  who  were  gentlemen,  but  the 
Campoforgosi  were  not.  The  Dorias  are  of  the  same  party 
with  the  Campoforgosi,  but  cannot  be  Doges  themselves, 
because  they  are  gentlemen ;  for  no  gentleman  is  capable  of 
being  Doge  by  their  laws.  But  this  Baptista  had  been 
Doge  not  long  before,  but  was  supplanted  by  his  uncle  the 
Cardinal  of  Genoa,  who  put  the  government  into  the  hands 
of  the  Duke  of  Milan,  under  whom  the  city  was  governed 
by  the  Adorni,  who  also  are  not  gentlemen  ;  yet  they  have 
been  often  Doges,  and  are  supported  by  the  house  of  the 
Spinoli,  who  are  gentlemen.  The  nobility  in  Genoa  make 
Doges,  but  cannot  be  made  so  themselves.  This  Signor 
Baptista  expected  his  whole  party  (both  in  the  city  and 
country)  would  take  arms  in  his  favour,  and  that  the  king 
would  obtain  the  sovereignty,  but  the  government  would 
fall  into  the  hands  of  himself  and  his  party ;  and  they  did 
not  question  but  to  drive  out  the  rest. 

*  Baptista  Fregosi  was  raised  to  the  dignity  of  Doge  of  Genoa  in 
1478.  Under  the  pretext  that  he  was  plotting  the  subjection  of  Genoa 
to  the  Emperor,  his  uncle,  Cardinal  Frcgosi,  in  concert  with  Lazaro 
Doria,  arrested  him,  and  procured  his  banishment,  in  1483. — Sismomdi, 
Xi.  287. 


268  THE   MEMOIRS   OF    PHILIP   DE    COMMIXES.        [HOG. 

The  other  design  was  set  on  foot  by  several  persons  in 
Savona,  who  addressed  themselves  to  the  Cardinal  of  St. 
Peter  ad  Vincula,  assuring  him  they  would  deliver  up  the 
town,  provided  their  liberties  and  privileges  might  be  se- 
cured to  them  ;  for  they  were  then  under  the  jurisdiction  of 
Genoa,  and  paid  heavy  duties.  If  he  could  have  made  him- 
self master  of  this  town,  he  would  have  reduced  Genoa  to 
great  straits,  considering  Provence  was  our  king's  own 
country,  and  Savoy  at  his  command.  Upon  this  news,  the 
king  sent  to  Signor  John  James  di  Trivulce  to  assist  the 
said  Baptista  di  Campoforgoso  with  such  supplies  as  might 
carry  him  to  the  very  walls  of  Genoa,  to  see  whether  his 
party  would  rise.  On  the  other  side  he  was  pressed  hard 
by  the  Cardinal  of  St.  Peter  ad  Vincula,  who  also  obtained 
a  letter  to  Trivulce  from  the  king,  commanding  him  to 
furnish  the  Cardinal  with  men  enough  to  conduct  him  to 
Savona ;  and  he  received  the  same  message  by  word  of 
mouth  from  the  Lord  of  Sernon  in  Provence,  who  was  the 
Cardinal's  friend,  and  a  bold  talker.  The  kinc  also  sent 
orders  to  Signor  James  di  Trivulce  to  contrive  matters  so 
as  to  support  both  parties,  and  yet  do  nothing  against  the 
Duke  of  Milan,  or  contrary  to  the  peace  that  had  been  made 
with  him  the  year  before;  but  these  orders  were  downright 
contradictions. 

And  after  this  manner  the  affairs  of  great  princes  are 
managed,  when  they  are  not  present  themselves,  or  are  too 
hasty  in  commanding  letters  and  messengers  to  be  de- 
spatched, without  mature  and  requisite  deliberation.  In 
this  case,  if  one  considers  what  was  required  by  Signor 
Baptista  di  Campoforgoso  and  the  Cardinal,  we  shall  find 
that  it  was  impossible  to  supply  them  both  at  a  time.  For 
to  approach  the  walls  of  Genoa  without  a  considerable  body 
of  forces,  was  ridiculous  and  impracticable,  by  reason  of  the 
numbers  and  courage  of  the  inhabitants ;  and  to  have  sup- 
plied the  Cardinal  had  been  to  have  divided  his  own  army 
into  three  bodies,  for  part  must  of  necessity  have  remained 
with  Signor  John  James  ;  and,  besides,  the  alarm  was  taken, 
and  the  Duke  of  Milan,  the  Venetians,  Don  Frederic,  and 
the  Pope,  had  all  of  them  sent  forces  to  Genoa  and  Savona, 
Suspecting  their  intended  revolt. 

Besides  these  two,  Signor  John  James  Trivulce  had  & 


1496.  J  FAILURE   OF    THKSE    INTRIGUES.  269 

third  design  of  his  own,  and  that  was,  to  march  directly 
with  all  his  forces  against  the  Duke  of  Milan,  and  lay  those 
other  enterprises  aside  ;  and  certainly  if  he  had  been  per- 
mitted to  pursue  his  own  scheme,  he  would  have  performed 
some  sreat  action ;  for,  under  pretence  that  he  could  not 
otherwise  protect  such  as  were  engaged  in  the  designs  upon 
Genoa  and  Savona,  he  posted  himself  upon  the  high  road 
from  Alessandria  to  Genoa  (and  indeed  the  Duke  of  Milan 
could  send  forces  no  other  way  to  molest  us),  and  possessed 
himself  of  two  or  three  small  towns,  without  any  resistance, 
pretending  that  this  was  no  violation  of  the  peace  with  the 
duke,  for  he  was  forced  to  it  of  necessity  ;  and  that  the  king 
could  not  be  said  to  have  made  war  upon  the  duke  by  en- 
deavouring to  recover  Genoa  and  Savona,  because  they  held 
of  the  king,  and  had  forfeited  their  allegiance.  However,  to 
satisfy  the  Cardinal,  Signor  John  James  di  Trivulce  sent 
part  of  his  army  to  Savona ;  but  he  found  the  garrison  rein- 
forced and  his  designs  defeated,  and  so  he  marched  back. 
He  sent  other  troops  to  Signor  Baptista,  to  attempt  some- 
thing upon  Genoa,  and  great  matters  were  expected  from 
thence;  but  before  they  had  marched  four  leagues,  both 
the  French  and  Swiss  who  were  in  his  company  grew  sus- 
picious of  him  (though  I  think  it  was  wrongfully),  and  it 
was  well  things  happened  so  ;  for  their  number  being  very 
inconsiderable,  they  would  have  exposed  themselves  to  great 
danger  if  their  party  in  the  town  had  not  risen.  Thus  all 
these  enterprises  and  designs  miscarried,  and  the  Duke  of 
Milan  became  strong;  but  he  had  run  great  danger  if 
Signor  John  James  had  not  been  countermanded.  Our 
army  marched  back,  our  foot  were  disbanded,  the  small 
towns  restored,  and  the  war  was  concluded,  but  with  little 
advantage  to  the  king,  considering  what  expense  he  had 
been  at  in  military  preparations. 


Ch.  XXTII.— Of  certain  Differences  that  arose  between  Charles  King 
of  France,  and  Ferrand  King  of  Castile;  and  the  Ambassadors  who 
were  sent  by  both  of  them  to  accommodate  the  Art'air. — 1497. 

From  the  beginning  of  1496,  when   the  king  had  already 
been  ftur  months  on  this   side  of  the  mountains,  till   tha 


27C  THE    MEMOIRS   OF    PHILIP   DE    COMMINES.  [1497. 

year  1498,  our  forces  lay  still,  and  did  nothing  in  Italy:  I 
was  present  all  that  while  with  his  majesty,  and  privy  to 
most  of  his  affairs.  He  went  from  Lyons  to  Moulins,  and 
from  Moulins  to  Tours,  spending  his  time  in  nothing  but 
jousts  and  tournaments  wherever  he  came,  without  ever 
thinking  of  other  affairs.  Those  who  were  in  greatest  repu- 
tation with  him,  were  in  great  dissension  among  themselves, 
and  it  could  hardly  be  greater.  Some  (as  the  Cardinal  and 
seneschal)  were  for  carrying  on  the  war  in  Italy,  because  it 
was  for  their  profit  and  advantage;  the  admiral*  on  the 
other  side  (who  before  that  expedition  had  been  the  king's 
greatest  favourite),  opposed  it  in  hopes  to  be  restored  to  his 
former  authority  and  to  supplant  his  competitors;  and  in 
this  posture  things  stood  about  a  year  and  a  half. 

In  the  meantime  our  king  sent  ambassadors  to  the  King 
and  Queen  of  Castile,  for  his  majesty  desired  to  be  at  peace 
with  them,  because  they  were  very  powerful  both  at  sea  and 
land  ;  and  though  at  land  they  had  done  no  extraordinary 
exploits,  yet  by  sea  they  had  given  Kings  Ferrand  and  Fre- 
deric very  considerable  assistance ;  for  the  island  of  Sicily 
is  distant  from  Rhegio  in  Calabria  only  a  league  and  a  halt". 
Some  are  of  opinion  it  was  formerly  joined  to  the  continent  |, 
and  in  process  of  time  separated  from  it  by  the  sea.  The 
opening  is  now  os"'ed  the  Straits  of  Messina.  From  this 
island  of  Sicily,  which  belonged  to  the  King  and  Queen  of 
Castile,  large  supplies  were  sent  to  Naples,  as  well  in  caravels 
from  Spain,  as  in  men  from  the  island,  out  of  which  several 
men-at-arms  passed  the  sea  into  Calabria,  with  a  good 
number  of  Spanish   Genetaires,  and  made  war  against  those 

*  Louis  Malet.     See  Book  VII.  Chap.  1. 

f  Virgil  was  of  this  opinion,  as  appears  by  the  following  lines : — 
"  Ast,  ubi  digressum  Siculae  te  admoverit  oraa 
Ventus,  et  angusti  rarescent  lustra  pelori; 
Laeva  tibi  tellus,  et  longo  laeva_  petantur 
^Equora  circuitu:  dextrum  fuge  littus  et  unda* 
Hsec  loca,  vi  quondam  et  vasta  convulsa  ruina 
(Tantum  a?vi  longinqua  valet  mutare  vetustas) 
l)issiluisse  ferunt:  cum  protinus  utraque  tellus 
Una  foret,  venit  medio  vi  pontus,  et  undis 
Hesperium  Siculo  latus  abscidit:  arvaque  et  urbes 
Lktore  didujtas,  angusto  interluit  ajstu." 

Vikg.  JEneid.  111.  410 — 419. 


1497.]  SPANISH    DEFEATS   IN   BOUSSILLON.  271 

who  appeared  for  our  king.  Their  fleet  was  continually 
joined  with  the  confederates,  and  when  they  were  united, 
our  king  was  too  weak  to  meet  them  at  sea ;  otherwise  the 
King  of  Castile  had  not  done  him  much  mischief.  It  is  true 
a  good  body  of  his  horse  made  an  inroad  into  Languedoc, 
plundered  some  few  towns,  and  quartered  up  and  down  that 
country  for  three  or  four  days  ;  but  that  was  all,  and  no  con- 
siderable damage  done.  Monsieur  de  St.  Andre*  (of  Bour- 
bonnois)  being  then  upon  the  frontier  with  some  troops 
belonging  to  the  Duke  of  Bourbon,  who  was  governor  of 
Languedoc,  attempted  to  take  Saussesf,  a  small  town  in  Rous- 
sillon, from  whence  the  enemy  made  all  his  incursions  ;  for 
the  king  had  restored  the  said  Roussillon  to  them  about  two 
years  before,  in  which  province  there  is  the  territory  of  Per- 
pignan,  and  this  Sausses  is  in  the  middle  of  it.  The  design 
was  great,  because  the  town  was  strongly  garrisoned  with  a 
detachment  of  the  King  of  Castile's  own  guards,  and  within 
a  league  lay  their  whole  army,  which  was  more  numerous 
than  ours,  and  ready  to  engage  us.  However,  Monsieur  de 
St.  Andre  managed  his  affairs  so  prudently,  and  with  so 
much  secrecy,  that  in  ten  hours'  time  he  took  the  town 
(which  I  have  seen)  by  assault  J,  and  in  it  there  were  thirty 
or  forty  Spanish  gentlemen  of  good  quality  slain,  and  among 
them  the  son  of  the  Archbishop  of  St.  James's  §,  hesides 
three  or  four  hundred  more.  They  did  not  suppose  we 
should  have  been  masters  of  it  so  soon,  because  they  knew 
not  the  goodness  of  our  cannon,  which  certainly  are  the 
finest  and  best  in  Europe. 

No  other  but  this  action  happened  between  these  two 
kings,  and  this  was  much  to  the  dishonour  of  the  King  of 
Castile,  who  had  such  a  numerous  army  in  the  field.  But 
when  God  Almighty  is  pleased  to   chastise  a  nation  for  its 

*  Guichard  d'Albon,  Lord  of  Saint- Andre  and  Oulches,  was  lieu- 
tenant-general for  the  king  in  Languedoc  in  the  year  1496,  and  became 
Bailiff  of  Montferrand  in  1498. 

f  Salces,  a  village  in  the  department  of  the  Pyrenees  Orientales,  and 
formerly  the  key  of  Roussillon.  The  strong  castle  of  Salces  was  gar- 
risoned by  the  Spaniards  in  July,  1495,  and  from  it  they  made  frequent 
incursions  upon  the  territories  of  Narbonne  and  Carcassonne  during 
the  ensuing  winter. 

X  On  Friday,  the  8th  of  October,  1496. 

5  Don  Diego  de  A/evedo. 


272  THE    MEMOIRS   OF    PHILIP   DE    COMMIXES.  [1497 

sins,  He  begins  with  such  small  and  supportable  afflictions  ; 
for  the  King  and  Queen  of  Castile  were  visited  afterwards 
with  greater  afflictions,  and  so  were  we  too.  The  King  and 
Queen  of  Castile  acted  very  imprudently,  and  were  ill- 
advised  to  forswear  themselves  to  our  master,  especially  after 
he  had  been  so  friendly  as  to  restore  Roussillon,  which  had 
cost  his  father  so  much  to  fortify  and  defend,  and  which  had 
been  mortgaged  to  him  for  300,000  crowns ;  all  which  was 
remitted  to  hinder  him  from  disturbing  our  king  in  his  in- 
tended conquest  of  Naples.  Besides  which,  they  renewed 
the  ancient  alliances  with  not  only  king  and  king,  kingdom 
and  kingdom,  but  the  individual  subjects  on  both  sides  were 
mutually  bound  ;  and  they  promised  not  to  interrupt  us  in 
our  conquest,  nor  to  marry  any  of  their  daughters  with  the 
houses  of  either  Naples,  England,  or  Flanders  ;  which  offer 
came  first  from  themselves,  and  was  made  by  one  Friar 
John  de  Mauleon,  on  the  part  of  the  Queen  of  Castile.  Yet 
as  soon  as  they  saw  the  war  begun,  and  the  king  at  Rome, 
they  sent  their  ambassadors  to  all  the  neighbouring  states 
to  make  an  alliance  against  our  king ;  and  particularly  to 
Venice,  where  I  was  resident  at  that  time ;  and  there  the 
league  (which  I  have  spoken  of  so  much)  was  made  between 
the  Pope,  the  King  of  the  Romans,  the  Signory  of  Venice, 
the  Spaniards,  and  the  Duke  of  Milan;  and  immediately  they 
began  to  act  offensively  against  our  king,  and  to  declare  that 
their  former  obligation  had  become  void,  and  they  were  no 
longer  bound  to  observe  it,  especially  that  article  about  the 
marriage  of  their  daughters  (of  whom  they  had  four,  and 
but  one  son),  though  they  first  made  that  offer  of  themselves, 
as  you  have  already  heard. 

But  to  proceed  in  my  history.  After  the  wars  in  Italy 
were  over,  and  the  king  had  nothing  left  in  the  kingdom  of 
Najles  but  Gaeta,  which  he  lost  afterwards, — after  the  rival 
pretensions  to  Roussillon  were  adjusted,  and  each  prince  was 
in  possession  of  what  was  his  own,  they  sent  a  gentleman 
to  King  Charles,  and  with  him  certain  monks  of  Montferrat, 
it  being  the  custom  of  Spain  to  manage  all  their  negotiations 
by  such  people,  either  out  of  hypocrisy  and  pretence  of  re- 
ligion, or  to  save  expense;  for,  as  I  said  before,  the  treaty 
about  Roussillon  was  managed  by  Friar  John  de  Mauleon. 
These  ambassadors,  at  their   first   audience,   besought  the 


1497.]  NEGOCIATIONS   WITH    SPAIN.  273 

king  that  he  would  forget  the  injury  that  had  been  done 
him  by  the  King  and  Queen  of  Castile  (which  king  and  queen 
are  always  mentioned  together,  because  Castile  came  by 
her,  and  she  had  in  that  country  the  principal  authority, 
and  it  was  a  marriage  of  more  than  ordinary  honour).  Then 
they  began  to  propose  a  truce,  in  which  their  whole  league 
was  to  be  comprehended,  and  our  king  was  to  keep  Gaeta 
in  his  possession,  and  what  other  places  were  then  in  his 
hands  in  the  kingdom  of  Naples  ;  that  during  the  truce  his 
majesty  might  victual  them  as  he  pleased ;  and  that  a  time 
and  place  should  be  appointed,  at  which  ambassadors  from 
all  the  parties  to  the  league  (or  as  many  as  desired  it)  should 
meet  to  conclude  a  final  peace;  after  which  the  King  and 
Queen  of  Spain  intended  to  pursue  the  conquest  of  the 
Moors,  and,  having  finished  that,  to  pass  over  from  Granada 
into  Africa  against  the  King  of  Fez,  whose  kingdom  reaches 
to  the  coast  on  the  other  side  of  that  sea.  However,  some 
say  they  never  designed  to  do  this,  but  were  resolved  to  be 
satisfied  with  the  conquest  of  the  kingdom  of  Granada, 
which  indeed  was  a  glorious  action,  and  the  fairest  acqui- 
sition which  had  been  gained,  not  only  in  our  times,  but  by 
all  their  predecessors ;  and  I  wish  for  their  own  sakes  they 
had  rested  there,  and  kept  their  promise  to  our  king. 

With  these  ambassadors  of  theirs  our  king  sent  back  the 
Lord  of  Clerifux  *,  in  Dauphiny,  and  endeavoured  to  con- 
clude either  a  separate  peace  or  a  truce  with  them,  without 
comprehending  any  of  the  rest  of  the  confederates  ;  but  if 
the  king  had  accepted  their  overture,  he  had  preserved 
Gaeta,  which  might  have  been  sufficient  for  the  recovery  of 
the  whole  kingdom,  considering  what  friends  his  majesty  had 
in  it.  When  the  Lord  of  Clerieux  returned,  he  brought  new 
propositions,  for  Gaeta  was  lost  before  he  got  to  Castile. 
These  propositions  were,  that  the  ancient  alliance  between  the 
two  crowns  should  be  renewed,  and  that  by  common  consent 
and  expense  they  should  endeavour  the  conquest  of  Italy, 
and  that  both  the  kings  should  be  personally  present  in  that 
expedition-!     But  first  they  insisted  that  a  general  truce 

*  Guillanme  de  Poitiers,  Lord  of  Clerieu,  and  titular  Marquis  of 
Cotron  in  Calabria. 

f  "  The  Spanish  writers,"  says  Mr.  Prescott,  "  impute  the  first  sug- 
gestion of  this  project  for  the  conquest  and  division  of  the  kingdom  v*f 

VOL.  U-  I 


274  THE   MEMOIRS   OF   PIIILIP   DE   COMMINES.        [1497- 

might  be  concluded,  wherein  the  whole  league  should  be 
comprehended,  and  a  day  and  place  appointed  in  Piedmont, 
to  which  each  of  them  might  send  their  ambassadors ;  for 
they  were  desirous  to  acquit  themselves  honourably  towards 
their  confederates.  But  all  this  overture,  in  my  opinion, 
(and  I  have  understood  as  much  since),  was  but  an  artirice 
to  gain  time,  and  suffer  King  Ferrand  and  his  successor  King 
Frederic  to  breathe  a  little.  However,  they  would  have  been 
contented  to  have  had  that  kingdom  to  themselves,  and  their 
title  was  better  than  that  of  those  who  possessed  it;  but  our 
king's  title  (which  was  the  house  of  Anjou's)  was  better 
than  either ;  yet,  considering  the  nature  of  the  country,  and 
the  people  who  inhabit  it,  I  think  he  has  best  right  to  it  that 
can  keep  possession  of  it,  so  strangely  are  they  inclined  to 
revolutions. 

After  this,  the  king  sent  Clerieux  back  again  into  Spain, 
and  with  him  one  Michel  de  Grammont,  with  certain  new 
proposals.  This  Lord  de  Clerieux  had  some  little  affection 
for  the  house  of  Arragon,  and  hoped  to  have  the  marquisate 
of  Cotron  in  Calabria,  which  the  King  of  Spain  obtaii.ed 
among  the  last  conquests  which  he  made  in  that  province. 
Clerieux  pretended  it  was  his,  for  he  is  an  honest  man,  but 
something  too  credulous,  especially  of  such  great  persons. 
The  second  time  he  returned,  he  brought  back  with  him 
another  ambassador  from  them,  and  the  Lord  de  Clerieux 
reported  that  the  King  and  Quren  of  Castile  would  be  con- 
tented to  take  Calabria  (which  is  the  part  of  Italy  that  lies 
next  Sicily)  for  their  whole  interest  in  that  kingdom,  and 
that  our  king  should  have  the  rest;  he  offered  likewise  that 
the  King  of  Castile  should  be  present  in  person  in  this  in- 

Naples  by  the  combined  powers  of  France  and  Spain,  to  the  French, 
who,  they  say,  went  so  far  as  to  specify  the  details  of  the  partition  sub- 
sequently adopted ;  according  to  which  the  two  Calabrias  were  assigned 
to  Spain.  However  this  may  be,  there  is  little  doubt  that  Ferdinand 
had  long  entertained  the  idea  of  asserting  his  claim  at  some  time  or 
other  to  the  crown  of  Naples.  The  accession  of  Frederic,  in  particular, 
Nad  given  great  umbrage  to  the  Spanish  monarch;  and  the  Castilian 
invoy,  Garcilasso  de  la  Vega,  agreeably  to  the  instructions  of  his  court, 
urged  Alexander  the  Sixth  to  withhold  the  investiture  of  the  kingdom 
from  Frederic,  but  unavailingly,  as  the  Pope's  interests  were  too  closely 
connected  by  marriage  with  those  of  the  royal  fauuly  of  Naples."- - 
History  oj  Ferdinand  and  Isabella,  voL  ii.  p.  311. 


1497.]  TRUCE   WITH   SPAIN.  275 

tended  expedition,  and  contribute  as  much  towards  paying 
the  army  as  our  king ;  and,  indeed,  he  was  at  that  time  mas- 
ter of  four  or  five  fortified  towns  in  Calabria,  and  among  the 
rest  was  Cotron,  which  is  not  only  a  strong,  but  a  beautiful 
city.  I  was  present  when  the  ambassador  made  his  report, 
and  most  were  of  opinion  he  had  been  imposed  upon,  and 
that  it  would  be  necessary  to  send  another  ambassador  of 
greater  sagacity,  to  search  more  narrowly  into  the  affair. 
Upon  which  the  Lord  du  Bouchage  was  joined  with  him  in 
the  embassy.  He  was  a  person  of  great  wisdom  and  pene- 
tration in  state  atfairs,  and  had  enjoyed  places  of  great  trust 
and  honour  in  the  late  king's  reign,  and  was  still  highly 
valued  and  esteemed  by  his  son.  The  Spanish  ambassador, 
who  came  along  with  the  Lord  de  Clerieux,  would  never 
confirm  what  he  had  said ;  only  he  told  us,  that  lie  believed 
Monsieur  de  Clerieux  would  not  have  made  that  report,  if 
the  King  and  Queen  of  Castile  had  not  said  it ;  which  gave 
us  the  more  suspicion  it  was  a  trick ;  and,  besides,  nobody 
could  believe  the  King  of  Spain  would  go  thither  in  person, 
or  that  he  would,  or  indeed  could,  bear  an  equal  share  of  tne 
expense  with  our  master. 

As  soon  as  the  Lord  du  Bouchage,  Monsieur  de  Clerieux, 
Michel  de  Grammont,  and  the  rest  of  our  ambassadors,  were 
arrived  at  the  court  of  the  King  and  Queen  of  Castile,  they 
ordered  them  to  be  lodged  in  apartments  where  none  could 
converse  with  them,  and  appointed  persons  to  have  an  eye 
over  them,  and  they  were  admitted  to  three  private  audiences 
of  the  king  and  queen.  When  the  Lord  du  Bouchage  had  ac- 
quainted them  with  what  the  Lord  de  Clerieux  had  reported 
to  his  master,  and  Michel  de  Grammont  had  confirmed  it, 
they  answered,  that  they  might  have  said  some  such  thing  by 
way  of  discourse,  but  not  otherwise,  yet  they  would  readily 
engage  themselves  in  any  peace  that  should  be  for  our 
master's  honour  and  advantage.  The  Lord  de  Clerieux  wae 
very  uneasy  at  their  answer  (and  with  reason),  and  justified 
to  their  faces,  in  the  presence  of  the  Lord  du  Bouchage,  that 
they  had  made  him  this  offer.  However,  the  Lord  du  Bou- 
chage and  the  other  ambassadors  concluded  a  truce  for  two 
months*,  without  comprehending  the  league  in  it;  but  in- 

*  This  truce  was  signed  on  the  5th  of  March,  1497,  and  was  to  lasl 
Until  the  end  of  October  in  that  year. — Sismonui,  xii.  444. 

t  J 


276  THE   MEMOIRS   OF   PHILIP   DK   COMMINES.        [1497 

eluding  the  princes  who  had  married  their  daughters,  and  the 
fathers  of  their  sons-in-law  (namely,  the  King  of  the  Romans,' 
and  the  King  of  England),  for  the  Prince  of  Wales*  was  but 
very  young  at  that  time.  The  King  and  Queen  of  Castile  had 
four  daughters ;  the  eldest  was  a  widow,  and  married  to  the 
son  of  the  King  of  Portugal f,  who  died  lately,  having  broken 
his  neck  in  her  sight  as  he  was  passing  a  career  upon  a  jennet 
before  her,  three  months  after  their  marriage  ;  and  they  had 
one  daughter  J  unmarried. 

As  soon  as  the  Lord  du  Bouchage  was  arrived,  and  had 
informed  the  king  of  his  reception  at  the  Spanish  court,  his 
majesty  was  sensible  he  had  acted  wisely  in  sending  him, 
for  now  he  was  assured  of  what  he  but  suspected  before, 
and  that  was,  the  credulity  of  the  Lord  de  Clerieux.  The 
Lord  du  Bouchage  told  him,  moreover,  that  all  he  could  ob- 
tain was  that  truce,  which,  however,  his  majesty  had  liberty 
either  to  accept  or  reject.  The  king  confirmed  it,  and  therein 
he  did  wisely,  for  it  broke  up  that  confederacy  which  had 
given  so  much  disturbance  to  his  affairs,  and  which  hitherto 
he  had  been  unable  to  dissolve,  though  he  had  tried  all  pos- 
sible means  to  do  it.  The  Lord  du  Bouchage  also  acquainted 
his  majesty,  that  they  would  send  ambassadors  to  him  with 
power  to  conclude  a  peace  ;  and  of  this  the  King  and  Queen 
of  Castile  had  assured  him  when  he  had  his  audience  of 
leave.  He  told  our  king  also,  that  at  his  coming  away  he 
left  their  only  son,  the  Prince  of  Castile,  very  dangerously  ill.- 

*  Arthur,  son  of  King  Henry  VII.  of  England,  was  born  on  the  20th 
of  September,  1486,  and  married  to  Catherine  of  Arragon  on  the  12th 
of  November,  1501.  But  a  few  months  after  his  marriage  the  young 
prince  sickened  and  died,  and  his  widow  was  contracted  to  his  brother 
Henry,  afterwards  Henry  VIII. 

t  Alphonso,  son  of  John  II.,  King  of  Portugal,  was  born  on  the  18th 
of  May,  1475,  and  married  to  Isabella  of  Castile  in  1490.  He  died  of 
a  fall  from  his  horse  in  the  following  year,  and  his  widow  married 
Emanuel,  his  successor  on  the  throne. 

%  This  was  the  Infanta  Maria,  who  married  her  brother-in-law 
Emanuel  of  Portugal,  after  the  death  of  her  sister  Isabella.  The  fourth 
daughter  of  Ferdinand  and  Isabella  was  named  Juana,  and  married 
Philip,  Archduke  of  Austria,  in  H9G. 


1497.]  DEATH   OF   THE   PRINCE   OP   CASTILE.  277 


Ch.  XXIV. — A   Digression  concerning  the  Fortunes  and  Misfortunes 
which  happened  to  the  House  of  Castile  in  the  Author's  Time. — 1497. 

The  Lord  du  Bouchage,  ten  or  twelve  days  after  his  return 
into  France,  received  letters  from  a  herald,  whom  he  had 
left  behind  to  wait  on  the  ambassadors  that  were  to  come 
from  thence.  The  letters  were  to  this  purpose,  that  he  must 
not  wonder  at  their  deferring  the  embassy,  because  of  the 
death  of  the  Prince  of  Castile*  (as  they  called  him),  to  the 
unspeakable  grief  of  the  king  and  queen,  but  especially  of 
the  queen,  who  was  more  like  to  die  than  to  live ;  and  cer- 
tainly I  never  heard  of  so  solemn  and  so  universal  a  mourn- 
ing for  any  prince  in  Europe.  I  have  since  been  informed 
by  ambassadors,  that  all  the  tradesmen  put  themselves  into 
black  clothes,  and  shut  up  their  shops  for  forty  days  to- 
gether; the  nobility  and  gentry  covered  their  mules  with 
black  cloth  down  to  their  very  knees,  so  that  there  was  no- 
thing of  them  to  be  seen  but  their  eyes ;  and  set  up  black 
banners  upon  all  the  gates  of  the  cities.  When  the  Lady 
Margaret  (daughter  to  the  King  of  the  Romans f,  sister  to  the 
Archduke  of  Austria}:,  and  wife  to  the  said  Prince  of  Cas- 
tile) was  informed  of  the  news  of  his  death,  she  miscarried 
of  a  daughter  (being  six  months  gone  with  child),  which  was 
born  dead.  What  a  terrible  blow  must  this  have  been  to  a 
family  which  had  known  nothing  before  but  felicity  and 
renown,  and  had  a  larger  territory  (I  mean  by  succession)  than 
any  other  prince  in  Christendom  !  And,  besides  the  late  ac- 
quisition of  Granada,  they  had  forced  the  greatest  monarch 
in  Europe  out  of  Italy,  and  defeated  his  enterprise,  which  was 
looked  upon  to  be  such  a  mighty  action  even  by  the  Pope  § 
himself,  that  he  would  have  taken  away  the  title  of  "  Most 
Christian"  from  the  King  of  France,  and  conferred  it  on  the 
King  of  Castile,  to  whom  several  briefs  were  addressed  with 
that  title  superscribed ;   but,  because  some  of  the  Cardinals 

•  On  the  4th  of  October,  1497,  in  the  twentieth  year  of  his  age. 
f  Maximilian  I.,  afterwards  emperor, 
j  Philip  I.,  Archduke  of  Austria. 
$  Alexander  VI. 


278  THE   MEMOIRS  OF   PHILIP   DE   COMMINES.         [1497. 

opposed  it,  he  gave  him  another  title,  which  was,  "  The 
Most  Catholic,"  by  which  title  he  is  called  now,  and  I  sup- 
pose he  will  be  styled  so  for  ever  at  Rome.  What  a  sad  and 
surprising  turn  of  fortune  must  this  accident  have  been !  at 
a  time  when  they  had  reduced  their  kingdom  to  obedience, 
regulated  the  laws,  settled  the  administration  of  justice,  and 
were  so  well  and  happy  in  their  own  persons,  as  if  God  and 
man  had  conspired  to  advance  their  power  and  honour  above 
all  the  rest  of  the  princes  in  Europe. 

Nor  was  this  their  only  affliction,  for  their  eldest  daughter 
(the  dearest  thing  to  them  in  the  world  after  the  death  of 
her  brother)  was  forced  to  leave  them,  having  some  few 
days  before  been  married  to  Emanuel*,  the  young  King  of 
Portugal.  He  was  then  indeed  but  Prince  of  Portugal ;  but 
the  crown  of  Portugal  fell  to  him  by  the  death  of  the  last 
King  of  Portugal,  who  had  most  barbarously  caused  the 
head  of  his  father-in-law  f  to  be  cut  off,  and  killed  his  wife's 
brother  J  with  his  own  hand  (who  was  elder  brother  to  the 
king  that  now  reipns  in  Portugal),  and  kept  this  present 
king  in  perpetual  fear,  and  killed  his  own  brother  before  his 
wife's  face,  as  they  were  sitting  at  dinner,  to  make  way  for 
one  of  his  bastards  §  to  be  king.  After  which  cruelties  he 
lived  in  continual  fear  and  suspicion,  and  not  long  after  his 
only  son  broke  his  neck  by  falling  off  his  mule,  as  you  have 
heard ;  and  he  was  the  first  husband  to  the  lady  of  whom  I 
am  now  speaking,  and  who  is  Queen  of  Portugal  at  present, 
into  which  kingdom  she  has  been  twice  married ;  and  by 
report  she  is  one  of  the  wisest  and  most  honourable  persons 
in  the  world. 


*  Emanuel,  surnamed  the  Fortunate,  was  the  son  of  Ferdinand,  Dnke 
of  Viseo.  He  succeeded  his  cousin,  John  II.,  on  the  throne  of  Por- 
tugal in  1495,  and  died  on  the  13th  of  December,  1521. 

f  This  is  a  mistake.  Eleanor  of  Portugal  was  the  daughter  of  Fer- 
dinand, Dnke  of  Viseo;  but  it  was  Ferdinand,  Duke  ot  Braganza,  who 
was  beheaded  by  order  of  John  II.  in  1483,  on  the  charge  of  having 
revealed  secrets  of  state. 

J  James  of  Portugal,  Duke  of  Viseo,  having  conspired  against 
John  II.  was  stabbed  by  him  on  the  23rd  of  August,  1484. 

§  George,  son  of  John  II.  and  Anne  de  Mendoza.  His  father  wished 
to  legitimate  him  in  order  to  leave  him  the  crown;  but  the  Pope  inter- 
posed, at  the  request  of  Queen  Eleanor,  and  George  was  made  Duke  of 
Aveiro. — Am6ejlmb,  i.  668. 


1498.]         MISFORTUNES   OF  THE  SPANISH   MONARCHS.  279 

But,  to  continue  our  relation  of  the  miserable  accidents 
which  in  a  short  space  befel  the  King  and  Queen  of  Castile, 
who  had  lived  in  so  much  glory  and  felicity  to  the  fiftieth 
year  of  their  age  or  more,  you  must  know  they  had 
married  their  eldest  daughter  to  the  King  of  Portugal,  first 
that  all  Spain  might  be  in  peace ;  for  they  were  entirely 
possessed  of  all  its  provinces,  except  the  kingdom  of  Na- 
varre, which  they  governed  as  they  pleased,  and  in  which 
they  had  also  four  of  the  strongest  towns.  Secondly,  to 
adjust  and  compose  the  difference  about  her  dower  and 
marriage-portion  :  and,  thirdly,  for  the  benefit  and  advantage 
of  some  of  the  grandees  of  Portugal,  who  were  in  the  King 
of  Castile's  interest ;  for  by  this  match  those  lords  who  were 
banished  that  country  upon  the  death  of  the  two  princes 
above-mentioned,  and  had  had  their  estates  confiscated  (which 
continues  to  this  day,  though  the  crime  of  which  they  were 
accused  was  only  endeavouring  to  set  this  king  up  who  now 
reigns),  had  estates  given  them  in  Castile ;  and  their  lands 
in  Portugal,  which  were  forfeited  by  the  attainder,  were  as- 
signed to  the  queen's  use.  And  yet,  notwithstanding  all  these 
considerations,  the  King  and  Queen  of  Castile  were  extremely 
troubled  at  this  match ;  for  you  must  understand  there  is 
no  nation  in  Europe  that  the  Spaniards  abhor  and  deride  so 
much  as  they  do  the  Portuguese.  So  that  it  was  no  small 
mortification  to  them  that  they  had  married  their  daughter 
'to  a  person  that  was  not  pleasing  to  the  Castilians  and  the 
rest  of  their  subjects,  and  had  it  been  to  be  done  again,  it 
would  never  have  been  done ;  which  must  needs  have  been 
a  great  affliction  to  them,  and  the  greater,  because  she  had 
to  leave  them.  But,  bavins;  mastered  their  sorrow  as  well 
as  they  could,  they  conducted  them  through  all  the  chief 
cities  in  their  kingdoms,  caused  the  King  of  Portugal  to  be 
received  as  their  prince,  his  queen  as  princess,  and  declared 
them  their  successors  after  their  decease.  And  now  a  little 
comfort  came  to  them  ;  for  their  daughter,  Princess  of  Cas- 
tile and  Queen  of  Portugal,  was  pregnant  of  a  child.  But 
then  followed  the  consummation  of  their  sorrows,  this  young 
lady,  whom  they  loved  and  valued  so  highly,  died  in  child- 
bed of  a  son  about  a  month  since,  and  it  is  now  October 
1498.     Though  the  queen  died,  yet  her  son  lived,  and  i* 

X  4 


280  THE    MEMOIRS    OF    PniLIP   DE    COMM1NES.         \_1497. 

called  Emanuel*  after  his  father;  yet  I  am  informed  theif 
affliction  is  so  great,  they  would  have  given  God  thanks  to 
have  taken  them  with  their  daughter. 

All  these  great  misfortunes  happened   to  them  in  three 
months'  space  ;  nor  were  we  without  our  share  of  afflictions \ 
for,  before  the  death  of  the  above-mentioned  princess,  we  in 
this  kingdom  were  chastised  and  afllicted  by  the  death  of 
King  Charles  VIII.,  of  whom  I  have  spoken  so  much,  and 
who  died  as  you  shall  hear  hereafter ;  and  it  seemed  as  if 
God  had  been  offended  with  both  these  illustrious  families, 
and  would  not  suffer  the  one  to   triumph   over   the   other. 
No  such  revolution  happens  in  a  kingdom,  but  it  is  generally 
attended  with  very  sad  consequences,  and  though  possibly 
gome  may  be  gainers,  yet  there  will  be  a  hundred  losers  to 
one  who  .profits,  besides  the  changing  of  a  man's  whole  life 
and   conversation;    for   that   which    pleases  one   king   will 
hardly  be  agreeable  to   another.     And  (as  I  have   said  in 
another  place)  he  that  reflects  upon  the  sudden  and  severe 
chastisements  which  God  has  inflicted  on  the  great  princes 
of  Europe  within  these  thirty  years,  shall  find  them  more  and 
greater  than  in  two  hundred  years  before,  including  France, 
Castile,  Portugal,  England,  the  Kingdom  of  Naples,  Flan- 
ders, and  Bretagne  ;    and  if  any  should  attempt  to  give  a 
particular  account  of  all  the  misfortunes  which  I  have  seen, 
(and  perhaps  most  of  the  persons,  both  men  and  women,  on 
whom  they  fell),  it  would  swell  into  a  vast  volume,  and  as- 
tonk-h  the  whole  world,  though  it  contained  no  more  than 
the  occurrences  of  ten  years  past.     By  these  afflictions  the 
power  of  God  ought  to  be  acknowledged  and  remembered ; 
for  the  troubles  which  he  lays   upon  princes  are  heavier, 
more  grievous,  and  more  lasting   than  those  he  lays  upon 
inferior  persons.     So  that,  in  short  (upon   a  full  and  just 
consideration   of   all   circumstances),    I    think    the   lives  of 
princes  are  as  much  subject  to  afflictions   and  anxiety  of 
mind  as  other  men's,  at  least  if  they  regard  their  own  affairs 
themselves,  and  endeavour  to  prevent  such  miseries  from 
falling  upon  them  as  they  see  have  ruined  their  neighbours. 

•  This  child,  whose  birth  had  cost  so  dear,  was  born  on  the  23rd  of 
August,  1498,  and  received  the  name  of  Miyuel,  in  honour  of  the  saint 
on  whose  day  he  first  saw  the  light.  He  died  on  the  19th  of  July,  l&Oa 
— Anselme,  i.  602. 


1498.]  THE   CASTLE   OF   AMBOISE.  28] 

It  is  true  they  punish  their  subjects  at  their  pleasure,  and 
God  does  the  same  by  them ;  for,  besides  Him,  there  is  none 
above  them.  But  that  kingdom  is  most  happy  whose  king 
is  wise,  and  fears  God  and  his  commandments. 

Thus  have  you  seen,  in  few  words,  the  misfortunes  which 
within  the  space  of  three  months  befel  these  two  great  and 
potent  kingdoms,  which  not  long  before  were  so  incensed 
one  against  the  other,  so  busy  to  subvert  one  another,  and 
so  intent  upon  their  own  interest  and  advancement,  that 
nothing  which  they  enjoyed  was  sufficient  to  satisfy  their 
boundless  ambition.  I  confess  (as  I  said  before)  no  change 
happens  in  any  government  but  some  people  are  the  better 
for  it ;  yet  when  a  prince  dies  suddenly  his  death  is  at  first 
terrible  to  all. 


Ch.  XXV. — Of  the  magnificent  Building  which  King  Charles  began  not 
long  before  his  Death;  his  good  Inclination  to  reform  the  Church,  the 
Laws,  the  Treasury,  and  himself;  and  how  he  died  suddenly  in  this 
Resolution  in  his  Castle  at  Amboise. — 1498. 

Lhave  now  done  with  the  affairs  of  Italy  and  Spain,  and 
shall  return  to  speak  of  our  own  misfortunes  and  losses  in 
France  (at  which  some  people  might  possibly  rejoice,  espe- 
cially if  they  gained  anything  by  them),  and  give  you  an 
account  of  the  death  of  Charles  VIII.,  our  king,  who  died 
suddenly  at  his  castle  of  Amboise,  where  he  had  begun  the 
most  august  and  magnificent  building  that  any  prince  had 
undertaken  for  one  hundred  years  before,  both  in  the  town 
and  the  castle ;  and  this  appears  by  the  towers,  to  the  top 
of  which  one  may  ride  on  horseback.  As  to  his  building  in 
the  town,  the  design  was  admirable,  the  model  lofty,  and 
the  erection  would  have  required  a  great  deal  of  time.  He 
had  brought  his  artificers  (as  his  carvers,  painters,  and  such 
like)  from  Italy,  so  that  the  whole  fabric  seemed  the  enter- 
prise of  a  young  prince  who  had  no  thought  of  dying  so 
soon ;  for  he  collected  whatever  was  commended  to  him 
either  in  France,  Italy,  or  Flanders.  Besides  this  great 
work,  his  mind  was  bent  upon  another  expedition  into  Italy, 


262  THE   MEMOIRS   OF    PHILIP   DV    COMMUTES.         [1498. 

for  lie  was  sensible  he  had  committed  many  great  errors  in 
his  first ;  he  spoke  often  of  tliern,  and  resolved,  if  ever  he 
recovered  what  he  had  lost  in  that  country,  he  would  keep 
it  better  than  he  had  done  ;  and,  having  partisans  and  intelli- 
gence in  all  places,  he  thought  it  not  impossible  but  he  might 
return  and  recover  the  kingdom  of  Naples  ;  to  which  pur- 
pose he  resolved  to  send  thither  a  body  of  fifteen  hundred 
Italian  men-at-arms  under  the  command  of  the  Marquis  of 
Mantua,  the  Ursini,  the  Vitelli,  and  the  Prefect  of  Rome, 
who  was  brother  to  the  Cardinal  of  St.  Peter  ad  Vincula ; 
and  the  Lord  d'Aubigny,  who  had  done  such  good  service  in 
Calabria,  was  to  march  into  the  territories  of  the  Floren- 
tines, who  were  to  bear  half  the  charges  for  six  months. 
His  first  attempt  was  to  have  been  upon  Pisa,  or  the  adja- 
cent small  towns  ;  and  then,  joining  all  his  forces,  to  march 
in  one  body  into  the  kingdom  of  Naples,  from  whence 
messengers  were  sent  to  him  continually.  Pope  Alexander 
VI.,  who  now  reigns,  being  offended  with  the  Venetians, 
endeavoured  to  come  into  the  alliance,  and  carried  on  private 
intrigues  for  the  purpose  by  means  of  an  agent  that  lay  in- 
cognito, whom  I  privately  conveyed  into  the  king's  chamber 
not  long  before  his  death.  The  Venetians  were  ready  to  join 
with  us  against  the  Duke  of  Milan,  and  our  negociations 
with  Spain  were  as  you  have  heard  ;  the  King  of  the  Romans 
desired  nothing  so  earnestly  as  the  friendship  of  our  king, 
and  that  they  two  might  manage  their  own  affairs  in  Italy 
by  themselves.  This  King  of  the  Romans  was  called 
Maximilian,  and  he  was  a  mortal  enemy  to  the  Venetians, 
because  they  had  taken  and  kept  several  places  belonging  to 
the  house  of  Austria,  of  which  he  was  next  heir,  and  heir 
to  the  empire  besides. 

The  king  had  also  resolved  within  himself  to  live  amore  strict 
and  religious  life  than  he  had  formerly  done,  to  regulate  the 
laws,  to  reform  the  Church,  and  so  to  rectify  his  finances  that 
he  would  not  raise  above  one  million  twTo  hundred  thousand 
francs  upon  his  subjects  by  way  of  annual  tax,  which  was 
the  sum  given  him  by  the  three  Estates  at  their  convention  at 
Tours,  upon  his  accession  to  the  throne.  He  intended  the 
said  sum  should  be  employed  in  the  defence  of  the  kingdom, 
and  for  himself  he  would  live  upon  his  crown  lands,  as  his 
predecessors  had  done  before  him  ;  which  he  might  easily 


14S"3.]  PLANS   AND   DEATH   OF   CHARLES   VIII.  283 

have  done  if  it  had  been  well  managed,  for  his  private  re- 
venue (comprehending  his  duties  and  customs)  came  to  above 
a  million  a  year.  Had  he  done  as  he  resolved,  it  would  have 
been  a  great  ease  to  the  people,  who  pay  now  ahove  two 
millions  and  a  half.  He  was  very  earnest  likewise  to  have 
reformed  the  abuses  in  the  order  of  St.  Benedict  and  others. 
He  got  good  preachers  about  him,  and  was  a  constant 
hearer  of  them.  He  would  fain  have  ordered  it  so  that  a 
bishop  should  have  enjoyed  but  one  bishopric,  a  cardinal 
two,  and  that  all  should  have  been  obliged  to  be  resident 
upon  their  benefices ;  but  he  would  have  found  it  a  difficult 
task  to  have  persuaded  the  clergy  to  it.  He  gave  alms 
liberally  to  the  poor  not  many  days  before  his  death,  as  I 
was  since  informed  by  his  confessor  the  Bishop  of  Angers*, 
who  is  a  very  eminent  prelate.  He  had  ereeted  also  a  place 
for  public  audience  f,  where  he  heard  and  dispatched  causes, 
especially  for  the  benefit  of  the  poor ;  in  which  place  I  saw 
him  for  two  hours  together,  not  above  a  week  before  he 
died ;  after  which  time  I  never  saAV  him  again.  Matters  of 
great  moment  were  not  dispatched  at  these  audiences,  but 
he  had  set  up  that  court  to  keep  people  in  awe,  and  espe- 
cially his  officers,  some  of  whom  he  suspended  for  bribery  and 
corruption. 

The  king  being  in  such  great  glory  in  relation  to  this 
world,  and  in  such  a  good  mind  as  to  God,  on  the  7th  of 
April,  1498,  being  the  eve  of  Palm  Sunday,  took  his  queen 
(Anne  of  Bretagne)  by  the  hand,  and  led  her  out  of  her 
chamber  to  a  place  where  she  had  never  been  before,  to  see 
them  play  at  tennis  in  the  castle-ditch.  They  entered 
together  into  a  gallery  called  the  Haquelebac  Gallery,  upon 
the  account  of  its  having  been  formerly  guarded  by  one 
Haquelebac.  It  was  the  nastiest  place  about  the  castle, 
broken  down  at  the  entrance,  and  everybody  committed  a 
nuisance  in  it  that  would.  The  king  was  not  a  tall  man, 
yet  he  knocked  his  head  as  he  went  in.  He  spent  some 
time  in  looking  upon  the  players,  and  talked  freely  with 
everybody.     I  was  not  there  myself  (for  I  had  gone  to  my 

*  Jean  de  Rely,  a  native  of  Arras,  was  made  Bishop  of  Angers  on 
the  1st  of  December,  1491,  and  died  at  Saumuron  the  27th  of  March, 
1498. 

t  By  letters  dated  on  the  30th  of  December,  1497. 


284  THE   MKMOIRS   OF   PHILIP   DE   COMMINES.         [1498 

country-house  about  a  week  before)  but  his  confessor  the 
Bishop  of  Angers,  and  the  gentlemen  of  his  bed-chamber, 
who  were  then  about  him,  told  me  what  I  write.  The 
last  expression  he  used  whilst  he  was  in  health  was,  that  he 
hoped  never  to  commit  a  mortal  sin  again,  nor  a  venial  sin 
if  he  could  help  it;  and  with  those  words  in  his  mouth  lie 
fell  down  backwards,  and  lost  his  speech.  It  was  about  two  in 
in  the  afternoon  when  he  fell,  and  he  lay  motionless  till  eleven 
o'clock  at  night.  Thrice  herecovered  his  speech,  but  he  quickly 
lost  it  again,  as  his  confessor  told  me,  who  had  confessed 
him  twice  that  week,  once  of  course,  and  a  second  time  upon 
occasion  of  his  touching  for  the  king's  evil.  Every  one 
went  into  the  gallery  that  pleased,  where  the  king  was  laid 
upon  a  coarse  bed ;  and  he  never  left  it  till  he  died,  which 
was  nine  hours  after.  The  confessor  told  me  that  every 
time  he  recovered  his  speech  he  called  out  upon  God,  the 
glorious  Virgin  Mary,  St.  Claude,  and  St.  Blaise,  to  assist 
him.  And  thus  died  that  great  and  powerful  monarch  in  a 
sordid  and  filthy  place,  though  lie  had  so  many  magnificent 
palaces  of  his  own,  and  was  building  another  more  stately 
than  any  of  them,  yet  he  died  in  this  poor  chamber.  How 
plain,  then,  and  natural  is  it,  from  these  two  examples,  for  us 
to  acknowledge  the  power  and  omnipotence  of  God,  and 
that  our  life  is  but  a  span  and  a  trifle,  though  we  are  so 
greedy  and  ambitious  after  the  riches  of  this  world  ;  and 
that  princes  no  more  than  peasants  are  able  to  resist  the 
Almighty. 


Ch.  XXVI. — How  holy  Friar  Jerome  was  burned  at  Florence  by  the 
Malice  and  Solicitation  of  the  Pope,  and  several  Venetians  and  Flo- 
rentines who  were  his  Enemies 1498. 

In  my  relation  of  the  affairs  of  Italy*,  I  have  mentioned  & 
Jacobite  friar  who  lived  at  Florence  for  the  space  of  fifteen 
years,  in  great  reputation  for  the  sanctity  of  his  life,  and 
whom  I  aaw  and  conversed  with  in  the  year  1495.     His 

*  6w  Book  VI1L  Chaj>.  S. 


1498.]  FATE  OF  SAVONAROLA.  285 

name  was  Jerome,  and  he  had  foretold  several  things  which 
afterwards  came  to  pass.  He  had  always  affirmed  that  the  king 
would  make  a  voyage  into  Italy,  declaring  it  puhliely  in  his 
sermons,  and  asserting  he  had  both  that  and  other  things  by 
revelation  from  God,  by  whom  he  pronounced  our  king  to 
have  been  chosen  to  reform  the  Church  by  the  sword,  and 
chastise  the  insolence  of  tyrants.  But  his  pretending  to  re- 
velation created  him  many  enemies,  made  him  incur  the  dis- 
pleasure of  the  Pope,  and  gained  him  ill-will  from  several 
in  Florence.  His  lite  and  discourses  (as  far  as  could  be  dis- 
covered) were  the  severest  and  most  holy  in  the  world,  for 
he  was  declaiming  perpetually  against  sin,  and  making  many 
proselytes  in  that  city. 

In  the  same  year  1498,  and  within  four  or  five  days  after 
the  death  of  King  Charles  VIII.,  died  Friar  Jerome  also*; 
which  I  mention  the  rather,  because  he  had  always  publicly 
asserted  that  the  king  should  return  again  into  Italy,  to 
accomplish  the  commission  which  God  had  given  him  for 
the  reforming  of  the  Church  by  the  sword,  and  the  ex- 
pulsion of  tyrants  out  of  Italy  ;  and  that  in  case  the  king 
refused  or  neglected  it,  God  would  punish  him  severely ; 
all  which  former  sermons  and  those  which  he  preached  at 
this  time,  he  caused  to  be  printed,  and  they  are  to  be  pur- 
chased at  this  day.  His  threats  to  the  king  of  God's  severe 
anger  if  he  returned  not  into  Italy,  he  wrote  several  times 
to  his  majesty  a  little  before  his  death  ;  and  he  told  me  as 
much  at  my  return  from  Italy,  assuring  me  that  sentence 
was  pronounced  in  heaven  against  the  king,  provided  he 
refused  to  observe  what  God  had  commanded,  and  did  not 
keep  his  soldiers  from  plundering. 

About  the  time  of  the  king's  death  there  were  great  divi- 
sions among  the  Florentines.  Some  expected  the  king's 
return,  and  very  earnestly  desired  it,  upon  confidence  in 
Friar  Jerome's  assurance ;  and  in  that  confidence  they  ex- 
hausted and  ruined  themselves  in  their  expenses  to  promote 
t lie  recovery  of  Pisa  and  the  rest  of  the  towns  which  they 
had  delivered  to  the  king  ;  but  Pisa  remained  in  possession 
of  the  Venetians.     Some  of  the  citizens   were  for  siding 

*  Charles  VIII.  died  on  the  7th  of  April,  and  Savonarola  on  tb» 
23rd  of  Mny. 


2fc6  THE   MEMOIRS   OF    PHILIP   DE   COMMINES.        [1498. 

with  the  league  and  deserting  our  king ;  and  these  alleged 
that  all  was  but  folly  and  delusion,  and  that  Friar  Jerome 
was  a  heretic  and  a  hypocrite,  and  that  he  ought  to  be 
put  into  a  sack  and  thrown  into  the  river;  but  he  had 
friends  in  the  town  who  protected  him  against  that  fate. 
The  Pope  and  the  Duke  of  Milan  wrote  often  against  him, 
assuring  the  Florentines  that  Pisa  and  the  rest  of  their 
towns  should  be  restored,  if  they  would  abandon  our  king 
and  punish  Friar  Jerome.  It  accidentally  happened,  that 
at  the  time  of  the  king's  death  the  Signory  consisted  chiefly 
Of  Friar  Jerome's  enemies  (for  the  Signory  in  that  city  is 
Changed  every  two  months),  who  suborned  a  Cordelier*  to 
quarrel  with  him,  and  to  proclaim  him  a  heretic  and  an 
abuser  of  the  people,  in  pretending  to  revelation,  and  to 
declare  publicly  that  he  had  no  such  gift;  and,  to  prove 
what  he  said,  he  challenged  him  to  the  ordeal  of  fire  before 
the  Signory.  Friar  Jerome  had  more  wit  than  to  accept 
this  challenge;  but  one  of  his  brethren  j  offered  to  do  it  for 
him,  and  another  of  the  Cordeliers  }  volunteered  to  do  as 
much  on  the  other  side  ;  so  that  a  day  §  was  appointed  when 
they  were  to  come  to  their  trial,  and  both  of  them  presented 
themselves  to  enter  the  fire  accompanied  by  all  the  friars  of 
their  orders.  The  Jacobite  brought  the  Host  in  his  hand, 
which  the  Signory  and  Cordeliers  insisted  he  should  lay  by  ; 
but  the  Jacobite,  being  obstinate  to  the  contrary,  and  re- 
solved not  to  part  with  it,  they  returned  all  to  their 
convents.  Whereupon  the  people,  encouraged  by  Friar 
Jerome's  enemies,  and  authorised  by  the  Signory,  went  to 
his  convent  and  fetched  him  and  two  more  of  his  brethren  || 
out,  and  tortured  them  most  cruelly,  killing  the  chief  man 

»  Friar  Francis  of  Apulia,  of  the  Order  of  Minor  Observantines.  His 
challenge  to  Savonarola  was  in  these  terms:  "  I  know,"  he  said,  "  I  am 
a  sinner;  I  have  not  the  presumption  to  perform  miracles:  nevertheless, 
let  a  fire  be  lighted,  and  I  am  ready  to  enter  it  with  him.  I  am  certain 
of  perishing,  but  Christian  charity  teaches  me  not  to  withhold  my  life  i£ 
in  sacrificing  it,  I  might  precipitate  into  hell  an  heresiarch,  who  baa 
already  drawn  down  into  it  so  many  souls." — Sismondi,  xii.  461. 

f  Friar  Domenico  Buouvicino. 

%  Friar  Andrea  Rondinelli. 

§  On  the  17th  of  April,  in  the  public  square  of  Florence. 

g  These  were  Domenico  Buouvicino  and  Silvestro  Meniffi. 


1498.]  OBSEQUIES    OF   CHARLES   VTO.  287 

in  the  city  (called  Francisco  Vallori*),  only  for  being  his 
friend.  The  Pope  sent  them  power  and  commission  to 
make  out  process  against  him,  and  at  last  he,  and  his  two 
brethren  were  burnt,  f  The  charge  against  him  consisted 
only  of  two  articles ;  that  he  created  disorder  in  the  city, 
and  that  he  was  an  impostor;  and  that  what  he  pretended 
to  know  by  revelation  he  was  told  by  his  friends  in  the 
council.  For  my  own  part  I  will  neither  condemn  no! 
excuse  him,  nor  will  I  say  they  did  ill  or  well  in  putting 
him  to  death ;  but  I  am  sure  he  foretold  several  things 
which  afterwards  came  to  pass,  and  which  all  his  friends 
in  Florence  could  never  have  suggested.  And  as  to  our 
master  and  the  evils  with  which  he  threatened  him,  they 
happened  exactly  as  you  have  heard,  first  the  death  of  the 
Dauphin,  and  then  his  own  death ;  predictions  of  which  I 
have  seen  in  letters  under  his  own  hand  to  the  king. 


Ch.  XXVII.— Of  the  Obsequies  and  Funeral  of  King  Charles  VIII., 
and  the  Coronation  of  his  Successor  Louis  XII.;  with  the  Genealogie* 
of  the  Kings  of  France  to  King  Louis  XII. — 1498. 

The  distemper  of  which  the  king  died  was  an  apoplexy,  or 
a  catarrh,  which  the  physicians  hoped  would  have  fallen 
down  into  one  of  his  arms,  and,  though  it  might  have  taken 
away  the  use  of  that  member,  they  were  in  no  fear  of  his 
death.  His  majesty  had  four  physicians  about  him,  but  his 
greatest  confidence  was  in  him  that  had  the  least  knowledge 
and  experience  in  physic  ;  and  by  his  directions  he  was  so  en- 
tirely governed,  that  the  other  three  durst  not  give  their 
judgments,  though  they  saw  the  indications  of  death,  and 
would  gladly  have  ordered  him  a  purge  three  or  four  days 
before.  All  people  addressed  themselves  to  the  Duke  of 
Orleans  immediately,  as  next  heir  to  the  crown  ;  but  the 

*  Francesco  Valori  had  been  chief  gonfalonier  of  the  city  during  tin 
preceding  year. 

f  On  the  23rd  of  May,  1498. 


288  THE    MEMOIRS   OF    PHILIP   DE    COMMINES.        [1498. 

gentlemen  of  King  Charles's  bed-chamber  buried  him  in 
great  pomp  and  solemnity.  As  soon  as  he  was  dead,  service 
was  begun  for  his  soul,  which  continued  day  and  night ;  for 
when  the  Canons  had  done  the  Cordeliers  began  ;  and  when 
they  had  ended,  the  Bons-hommes  or  Minims  took  it  up,  for 
they  were  an  order  of  his  own  foundation.  He  lay  eight  days 
at  Amboise,  part  of  the  time  in  a  chamber  very  richly  hung, 
and  part  in  the  church.  In  short,  he  lay  in  great  state, 
and  the  whole  solemnity  was  more  costly  than  the  funeral 
of  any  of  his  predecessors  had  been.  The  gentlemen  of  his 
bed-chamber,  all  that  had  waited  on  his  person,  and  all  the 
officers  of  his  court,  never  stirred  from  his  corpse,  but 
watched  it  constantly ;  and  the  service  continued  till  his 
body  was  interred,  which  was  about  a  month  after*  ;  and,  as 
I  have  been  told  by  some  of  the  officers  of  his  exchequer, 
this  ceremony  cost  forty-five  thousand  francs.  I  came  to 
Amboise  two  days  after  his  death,  went  to  pay  my  devotions 
upon  his  bier,  and  stayed  there  five  or  six  hours.  To  speak 
impartially,  I  never  saw  so  solemn  a  mourning  for  any 
prince,  nor  one  that  continued  so  long  ;  and  no  wonder,  for 
he  had  been  more  bountiful  to  his  favourites,  to  the  gentle- 
men of  his  bed-chamber,  and  to  ten  or  twelve  gentlemen  of 
his  privy-chamber,  had  treated  them  better,  and  given  them 
greater  estates  than  any  king  had  ever  done  before, ;  and  in- 
deed he  gave  them  too  much.  Besides,  he  was  the  most 
affable  and  sweetest  natured  prince  in  the  world.  I  verily 
believe  he  never  said  a  word  to  any  man  that  could  in  reason 
displease  him  ;  so  that  he  could  never  have  died  in  a  better 
hour  to  make  himself  memorable  in  history,  and  lamented  by 
all  who  had  served  him.  I  do  really  think  I  was  the  only 
person  in  the  whole  world  to  whom  he  was  unkind  ;  but, 
being  sensible  that  he  was  in  his  youth,  and  my  treatment 
not  at  all  his  own  doing,  I  could  not  resent  it. 

Having  lain  one  night  at  Amboise,  I  went  and  paid  my 
respects  to  the  new  king,  with  whom  I  had  been  formerly  as 
intimate  as  any  other  person  about  the  court,  and  much  of 
my  troubles  and  losses  were  incurred  for  his  sake  ;  but  now 
all  our  former  acquaintance  and  the  service  I  had  done  him 
were  forgotten.     However,  he  entered  upon  his  government 

*  The  corpse  was  conveyed  from  Amboise  on  the  1 7th  of  April. 


1498.  J  ACCESSION   OF   LOUIS   XIT.  239 

with  great  wisdom.      He   altered   not  any  pensions  for  that 
year,  though  they  were  still  to  last  for  six  months.     He  re- 
trenched  nothing   of  his  salaries,  but  declared  that  every 
officer  in  his  kingdom  should  continue  in  the  post  in  which 
he  found  him ;  which  was  very   honourable   and    discreet. 
As  soon  as  all  things  were  made  ready,  he  proceeded   to   his 
coronation  *,  and  I  was  there  among  the  rest.     The  peers  of 
France  (according  to  ancient  custom)  were  represented  by 
these  following :    The   Duke  of    Alencon   represented    the 
Duke  of  Burgundy  ;  the  Duke  of  Bourbon  the  Duke  of  Nor- 
mandy ;  and  the  Duke  of  Lorraine   the  Duke  of  Guienne. 
The   first  of  the   Counts   was  Monsieur  de  Bavestain,  who 
represented  the  Count  of  Flanders.     The  second  was  Engil- 
bert  of  Cleves,  who  represented  the  Count  of  Champagne, 
and  the  third  was  Monsieur  de  Foix,   who  represented  the 
Count  of  Toulouse.     The  said  coronation  was  at  Bheims  on 
the  27th  of  May,  1498,  and  Louis  XII.  was  the  fourth  king 
wlio  came   collaterally  to  the  crown.     The    two   first  were 
Charles  Martel,  or  Pepin   his  son,  and  Hugh  Capet,  both  of 
them  mayors  of  the  palace,  or  governors  of  their  kings,  who 
afterwards  turned  usurpers,  deposed  their  masters,  and  took 
the  government   upon   themselves.       The  third   king    was 
Philip  of  Valois,  and  the  fourth  King  Louis,  who  now  reigns. 
But  the  two  last  came  by  a  just  and  indisputable  title  to  the 
crown.     The   first  race  of  the  Kings  of  France  is  deduced 
from  Meroveus:  there  had  been  two   kings  before  this  Me- 
roveus,  that  is  to  say,  Pharamond,  (who  was  the   first  that 
was  elected  King  of  France  ;  for,  before  his  time  they  were 
called  Dukes   or  Kings  of  Gaul,)  and  after  him  one  of  his 
sons   called  Clodion.     Pharamond  was  chosen  king   in  the 
year  420,  and  reigned   ten  years  ;  his  son   Clodion  reigned 
eighteen,  so   that   Pharamond   and   his  son  reigned  twenty- 
eight  years.      Meroveus,  who  succeeded,  was  not  Clodion's 
eon,  but  his  kinsman;  so  that  there  seem  to  have  been  five 
interruptions   in  the  royal  line.     However,  as  I  said  before, 
the   genealogy  of  the  Kings  of  France  begins  generally  at 
Meroveus,  who  was  made  King  in  the  year  418 ;  so  that  the 
right  line  is  derived   from  thence,  and   runs  down  to  Louis 
XII.,  who  was  crowned  one  thousand  and  fifty  years  after 

*  He  was  consecrated  and  crowned  at  Rhcims  by  Cardinal  Brii;onnct, 
on  the  27th  of  May,  14(J8.— Anselme,  i.  127. 
VOL.    II.  0 


£90  THE    MEMOIRS    OF    PHILIP    DE    COMMINES.  [1498. 

the  pedigree  of  the  said  kings  began.  They  who  would  de- 
rive it  from  King  Pharamond  need  only  add  twenty-eight 
more,  and  the  number  will  amount  to  one  thousand  and 
seventy-eight  years  since  there  were  kings  called  kings  of 
France.  From  Meroveus  to  King  Pepin  there  were  three 
hundred  and  thirty-three  years,  during  which  time  the  line 
of  Meroveus  lasted.  From  King  Pepin  to  Hugh  Capet  there 
were  two  hundred  and  thirty-seven  years  ;  and  during  that 
time  the  line  of  King  Pepin  and  his  son  Charlemagne  con- 
tinued. Hugh  Capet's  line  lasted  three  hundred  and  thirty- 
nine  years,  and  expired  at  the  accession  of  Philip  de  Valois  ; 
and  the  line  of  the  said  Philip  de  Valois  became  extinguished 
in  Charles  VIII.,  who  (as  is  said  before)  died  in  the  year 
1498,  and  was  the  last  of  that  family,  which  had  continued 
to  possess  the  kingdom  one  'Hundred  and  sixty-nine  years, 
during  which  time  seven  kings  had  succeeded  of  that  line, 
that  is  to  say,  Philip  de  Valois,  King  John,  King  Charles 
V.,  King  Charles  VI.,  King  Charles  VII.,  King  Louis  XI., 
and  King  Charles  VIIL,  who  was  the  last  of  the  right  line 
of  Philip  de  Valois. 


BND   OF    THE   MEMOffiS   OF    PHILIP   DE   COMMINUS. 


HISTORY 


OP 


LOUIS  XL  KING  OF  FMNCB, 

AND  OF   THE   MEMORABLE   OCCURRENCES   OP    HIS   REIG!», 
FROM    THE    YEAR    1460    TO    14S3; 

OTHERWISE  CALLED 

THE     SCANDALOUS     CHRONICLE, 

WRITTEN  BY  A 

CLERK  IN  THE  HOTEL  DE  VILLE  OF  PARIS. 


l»  9 


EDITOR'S   PREFACE. 


The  Scandalous  Chronicle  forms  so  valuable  a  supplement 
to  the  Memoirs  of  Commines,  that  I  have  determined  to 
follow  the  example  of  previous  editors,  and  insert  it  in  this 
place.  In  reliance  on  the  opinion  of  Petitot,  I  have  ascribed 
its  authorship  to  Jean  de  Troj'es. 

The  literary  history  of  this  work  is  somewhat  singular. 
The  first  known  edition  was  published  under  the  following 
title, —  The  Chronicle  of  the  very  Christian  and  very  victori- 
ous Louis  of  Valois  (whom  God  absolve!),  eleventh  of  the 
name  ;  with  various  other  adventures  which  occurred  in  the 
kingdom  of  France,  as  well  as  in  neighbouring  countries,  from 
the  year  1460  to  the  year  1483  inclusive.  It  is  a  small  folio 
volume,  printed  in  Gothic  characters,  and  was  probably  pub- 
lished about  the  end  of  the  fifteenth  century,  though  the 
title-page  bears  no  date,  and  mentions  neither  the  author's 
nor  the  printer's  name.  The  three  following  editions  are 
equally  silent  as  to  the  authorship  of  the  work  ;  but  the 
fifth  edition,  published  in  1529,  ascribes  it  to  a  clerk  in  the 
Hotel  de  Ville  of  Paris.  In  1583,  Gilles  Corrozet,  in  his 
Tresor  des  Histoires  de  France,  quotes  it  as  "  The  Chronicle 
of  King  Louis  XL  otherwise  called  the  Scandalous  Chronicle, 
by  Jean  de  Troyes  ;  "  and  in  the  following  year,  La  Croix 
du  Maine,  in  his  Bibliotheque  Frangaise,  makes  this  state- 
ment:    "Jean  de  Troyes  was  a  French  historian  of  the  time 


294  editor's  preface. 

of  Louis  XL,  king  of  France  ;  lie  wrote  a  chronicle  of  the 
said  king,  which  is  vulgarly  called  the  Scandalous  Chro- 
nicle, because  it  makes  mention  of  everything  done  by  the 
said  king,  and  relates  matters  which  are  not  greatly  to 
his  advantage,  but  rather  to  his  dishonour  and  scandal." 

Such  is  the  authority  for  the  name  and  authorship  of  the 
work  ;  and  though  slight,  it  has  been  deemed  sufficient  by  most 
bibliographers,  notwithstanding  the  controversies  raised  by 
some  eminent  writers  on  the  subject.  The  Chronicle  was 
first  appended  to  the  Memoirs  of  Commines,  in  Jean  Gode- 
froy's  edition,  published  at  Brussels  in  1713.  It  will  also  be 
found  in  Lenglet  du  Fresnoy's  edition,  published  in   1747. 

The  present  translation  is  from  the  text  in  Petitot's  great 
collection  of  memoirs  relating  to  the  history  of  France. 

But  although  it  has  been  agreed  to  attribute  this  Chronicle 
to  Jean  de  Troyes,  no  researches  have  succeeded  in  discover- 
ing any  particulars  in  relation  to  the  author  himself.  It  has 
not  even  been  positively  established  whether  he  can  be 
identified  with  the  clerk  in  the  Hotel  de  Ville  of  Paris, 
mentioned  on  the  title-page  of  some  of  the  earlier  editions. 
In  fact,  all  is  speculation  regarding  him:  but  it  is  conjectured 
reasonably  enough  by  Grosley  that  he  was  a  son  of  a  certain 
Jean  de  Troyes  mentioned  by  Juvenal  des  Ursins  as  having 
distinguished  himself  in  the  disturbances  at  Paris  during  the 
reign  of  Charles  VI.,  and  who  was  appointed  Grand  Master 
of  the  Artillery  by  Charles  VII ,  in  reward  for  his  services. 

It  is  hard  to  understand  why  this  should  have  been  called 
the  Scandalous  Chronicle ;  unless,  as  Sorel  suggests,  the 
name  was  given  to  it  by  some  bookseller  in  order  to  pique 
the  curiosity  of  the  public.  Far  from  seeking  to  defame 
Louis  XL,  the  author  omits  all  mention  of  a  vast  number  of 
the  actions  most  discreditable  to  his  memory  ;  and  in  regard 
to  his  gallantries,  he  is  almost  as  silent  as  Commines.  The 
chief  characteristic  of  the  work  is  its  straightforward  sim- 


editor's  preface  295 

plicity :  it  is  full  of  curious  remarks  on  passing  events,  such 
as  might  be  made  by  a  superficial  observer,  who  took  no 
pains  to  penetrate  into  the  causes  and  consequences  of  the 
occurrences  he  describes.  It  is  this  quality  which  renderg 
the  perusal  of  the  memoirs  of  Jean  de  Troyes  most  interest- 
ing, after  reading  those  of  Commines.  The  latter  unmasks 
the  policy  of  his  sovereign,  reveals  all  his  intrigues,  and 
indicates  the  secret  springs  of  his  conduct ;  the  former 
attempts  nothing  of  the  kind,  but  merely  portrays  events  in 
the  light  in  which  Louis  XL  desired  that  they  should  be  seen 
by  his  subjects.  Take,  for  instance,  the  narrative  of  the 
king's  visit  to  Peronne,  in  1468.  No  one  would  suppose, 
from  the  account  given  by  Jean  de  Troyes,  that  Louis,  a 
dupe  to  his  own  artifices,  had  imprudently  placed  himself  in 
the  power  of  the  Duke  of  Burgundy,  and  heen  detained  a 
prisoner  by  him;  the  treaties  concluded  in  the  town  appear 
to  have  been  signed  freely  by  the  French  monarch,  who 
thereupon  voluntarily  consented  to  join  Duke  Charles  in 
his  expedition  against  the  Liegeois.  After  reading  the 
true  history  of  the  whole  affair  in  Commines,  it  is  curious  to 
notice  the  colour  which  the  king  gave  to  it  in  the  eyes  of  his 
subjects,  in  order  to  keep  them  in  ignorance  of  the  dangers 
he  had  incurred  by  his  own  fault,  and  of  the  excess  of 
humiliation  to  which  he  had  been  subjected  by  his  less  wily 
rival. 

In  many  other  respects,  this  Chronicle  is  no  less  valuable 
and  instructive.  It  is  not  only  remarkable  for  many  curious 
traits  characteristic  of  its  individual  author  ;  but  it  contains 
interesting  details  of  the  manners  and  customs,  of  the  habits 
and  domestic  life,  of  the  Parisians,  and  of  the  view  they  took 
of  contemporary  events.  Indeed,  no  existing  work  supplies 
us  with  a  better  picture  of  Paris  as  it  was  towards  the  end 
of  the  fifteenth  century. 

As  Jean  de  Troyes  for  the  most  part  relates  only  what  he 

L    4 


296  editor's  preface. 

heard,  and  was  seldom  an  e)'ewitness  of  the  occurrence* 
which  he  chronicles,  there  are  many  errors  in  his  memoirs  ; 
hut  these  may  easily  be  rectified  by  reference  to  the  parallel 
passages  in  Commines,  where  they  have  not  been  expressly 
corrected  in  the  noies. 

A.  E.  SCOP  LB. 


C!)e  5>ranfcaIousf  C(rimfde« 


THE  CHRONICLES 

OP   THE 

VERY   CHRISTIAN   AND   VERY   VICTORIOUS 

LOUIS      OF      VALOIS, 

LATE    KING   OF    FRANCE    (WHOM 
GOD   ABSOLVE), 


TABIOU8    OTHER  ADVENTURES   WHICH    OCCURRED   BOTH   IN    THE    REALM 

OF    FRANCE    AND    IN    NEIGHBOURING    COUNTRIES,    FROM    THE 

TEAR    1460    UNTIL    1-483,    INCLUSIVELY 


To  the  honour  and  praise  of  God,  our  sweet  Saviour  and 
Redeemer,  and  the  blessed  glorious  Virgin  Mary,  without 
whose  assistance  no  good  works  can  be  performed.  Knowing 
that  several  kings,  princes,  counts,  barons,  prelates,  noble- 
men, ecclesiastics,  and  abundance  of  the  common  people,  are 
often  pleased  and  delighted  in  hearing  and  reading  the  sur- 
prising histories  of  wonderful  things  that  have  happened  in 
divers  places  both  of  this  and  other  Christian  states  and 
kingdoms,  I  have  applied  myself  with  abundance  of  pleasure, 
from  the  3oth  year  of  my  age,  instead  of  spending  my  time 
in  sloth  and  idleness,  to  writing  a  history  of  several  remark- 
able accidents  and  adventures  that  happened  in  France,  an.d 
in  other  neighbouring  kingdoms,  as  far  as  my  memory  would 
permit  me;  but  especially  from  the  year  1460,  in  the  reign 
of  Charles  VII.,  to  the  death  of  Louis  XI.,  his  son,  who 
died  on  the  30th  of  August,  in  the  ye;ir  1483.  However, 
I  neither  design  nor  expect  that  tins  historical  essay  of  mine 


298  THE    sCANDALOLS   CI1KONICLE.  [1460 

should  be  called  a  Chronicle,  being  wholly  unfit  for  so 
bold  an  undertaking  ;  neither  indeed  was  I  ever  employed 
or  permitted  to  write  one;  but  what  I  have  here  ventured 
to  record,  is  purely  by  way  of  amusement  to  please  and 
divert  those  who  will  give  themselves  the  trouble  of  reading 
it  or  hearing  it  read  ;  whom  I  also  humbly  entreat  to  excuse, 
and  supply  my  ignorance,  by  correcting  and  altering  what- 
ever they  find  amiss  ;  for  abundance  of  these  remarkable 
accidents  have  happened  after  so  very  different  and  so 
strange  a  manner,  that  it  would  have  been  a  very  difficult 
task,  either  for  me  or  any  other  writer,  to  have  given  an 
exact  and  particular  account  of  every  thing  that  happened 
during  so  long  a  period  of  time. 

1460. 

And  first  of  all,  then,  I  must  speak  concerning  the  good- 
ness and  fertility  of  the  earth  in  the  year  1460,  which  was 
so  prodigiously  fruitful  throughout  the  whole  kingdom  of 
France,  and  bore  such  plenteous  crops  of  corn,  that  at  the 
very  dearest  time  a  quarter  of  wheat  was  sold  for  only 
twenty-four  Parisian  sols ;  but  there  was  a  great  scarcity  of 
fruit,  and  as  for  the  vines,  there  was  but  little  wine,  espe- 
cially in  the  Isle  of  France,  so  that  they  had  scarce  an  hogs- 
head to  every  acre  of  ground,  but  the  wine  was  extraor- 
dinarily good,  and  that  which  grew  in  the  fat  vineyards 
round  Paris  was  sold  very  dear,  and  bore  the  price  of  ten  or 
eleven  crowns  a  hogshead. 

About  that  time  several  poor  indigent  wretches  that  were 
guilty  of  thieving,  sacrilege,  house-breaking,  and  other 
enormous  crimes,  were  made  an  example  of,  and  severely 
punished  at  Paris  ;  amongst  whom  some  were  only  whipped 
at  the  cart's  tail,  and  afterwards  pardoned,  as  being  their 
first  offence  ;  and  others,  who  were  old  offenders,  and  had 
been  often  guilty  of  crimes  of  the  like  nature,  were  con- 
demned to  be  hanged,  and  executed  accordingly- 
Much  about  that  time  also  a  certain  woman,  named 
Perrette  Mauger,  was  condemned  to  be  burnt  alive  for 
having  committed  several  robberies,  and  for  harbouring  and 
concealing  several  notorious  thieves  and  house-breakers,  who 
had  committed  divers  robberies  in  and  about  Paris  ;  as  also 
for  having  sold  and  disposed  of  the  said  goods  that  were 


1460.]  THE    SCANDALOUS    CHRONICLE.  299 

stolen  by  these  thieves,  and  sharing  with  them  the  money 
that  arose  from  the  sale  thereof:  for  which  crimes,  and 
several  others  besides,  which  she  confessed  at  last,  she  was 
condemned  by  M.  Rohert  Destouteville,  mayor  of  Paris,  to 
be  burnt  alive  at  the  stake  before  the  gallows,  and  all  her 
goods  and  chattels  to  be  forfeited  to  the  king.  From  which 
sentence  she  formally  appealed  to  the  court  of  parliament, 
upon  the  account  of  which  appeal  her  execution  was  de- 
ferred for  some  time  ;  but  after  the  parliament  had  examined 
into  her  trial,  they  confirmed  the  above-mentioned  sentence, 
and  having  declared  that  the  said  Perrette  Mauger  had  no 
manner  of  grounds  for  her  appeal,  ordered  it  immediately  to 
be  executed  ;  upon  wlrich  she  declared  herself  to  be  with 
child,  which  deferred  the  execution  a  little  longer ;  and 
presently  a  jury  of  midwives  and  matrons  was  impannelled, 
and  ordered  to  search  her,  who,  upon  a  strict  examination, 
reported  to  the  judges  that  she  was  not  breeding,  upon  which 
report  she  was  immediately  ordered  to  be  burnt  before  the 
gallows  by  Henry  Cousin,  hangman  of  Paris. 

Strange  Adventures  that  happened  in  England  in  the  same 

Year,  1460. 

In  this  year  the  Pope  sent  a  legate  into  England,  who 
preached  to  the  people  of  that  country,  but  especially  in 
London,  the  chief  city  of  that  kingdom  ;  where  he  made 
several  remonstrances  to  the  inhabitants  of  that  and  the 
adjacent  parts,  much  to  the  prejudice,  and  contrary  to  the 
interest  of,  Henry  VI.,  king  of  England  ;  which  remon- 
strances the  Cardinal  of  York,  who  accompanied  the  legate, 
explained  in  their  own  language,  with  a  long  exposition  on 
the  same.  Upon  which  the  common  people,  who  were 
wavering  and  fickle  enough  at  the  best,  began  to  rise  up  in 
rebellion  against  King  Henry,  and  his  queen,  daughter  of 
Rene,  King  of  Sicily  and  Jerusalem,  and  their  son  the 
Prince  of  Wales.  The  common  people  chose  the  Earl  of 
Warwick  for  their  head,  who  was  governor  of  Calais,  in  the 
room  of  Richard,  Duke  of  York,  who  pretended  to  be  king, 
and  boldly  maintained  the  kingdom  of  England  belonged  to 
him,  as  being  the  next  heir  of  the  family  of  King  Richard 
1L     A  little  time  afterwards  the  Duke  of  York,  who  had 


300  THE    SCANDALOUS   CHRONICLE.  [1460, 

assembled  a  great  number  of  tbe  populace  in  arms,  took  the 
field,  and  marched  directly  to  a  park  where  Henry  VI.  was 
attended  by  several  dukes,  princes,  and  other  lords,  all  in 
arms  also.  There  were  eight  avenues  that  led  to  this  park, 
and  these  were  guarded  by  eight  barons  of  the  kingdom,  all 
of  them  traitors  and  rebels  to  King  Henry  ;  who,  as  soon  as 
they  were  informed  of  the  Duke  of  York's  arrival,  imme- 
diately gave  him  admittance  into  the  park,  with  the  Earl  of 
Warwick,  and  several  others,  who  went  directly  to  the  place 
where  the  King  was,  whom  without  any  farther  ceremony* 
they  seized  upon.  Immediately  after  this  action,  they  slew 
several  princes  and  great  lords  of  the  blood  royal  that  were 
with  him.  When  the  Earl  of  Warwick  had  so  done,  he  took 
King  Henry  and  brought  him  directly  to  London,  carrying 
the  naked  sword  before  him,  as  if  he  had  been  his  constable; 
and,  upon  his  arrival  at  London,  he  led  him  straight  to  the 
Tower,  in  which  there  were  four  barons  of  the  kingdom  of 
King  Henry's  party,  that  were  kept  prisoners  there ;  to 
whom  King  Henry  some  time  after,  and  the  Earl  of  War- 
wick, gave  very  fair  words,  and  released  them  out  of  the 
Tower,  after  they  had  solemnly  promised  them  that  their 
persons  should  be  protected  from  all  manner  of  danger 
whatsoever,  and  in  confidence  of  these  fair  promises  they 
consented  to  go  out  of  the  Tower.  But  as  they  were  leading 
these  four  barons  after  King  Henry  and  the  Earl  of  Warwick, 
there  happened  to  be  an  insurrection  of  the  mob,  and  some 
of  them  came  and  killed  one  of  the  barons,  and  gave  him 
several  blows  and  contusions ;  and  the  next  day,  notwith- 
standing all  the  fine  promises  that  were  made  them,  the 
three  other  barons  were  executed  on  Tower-hill. 

At  the  same  time  there  arose  a  great  quarrel  between  the 
king's  officers  belonging  to  the  Court  of  Aids,  and  one  of  the 
beadles  of  the  University  of  Paris,  for  some  affront  the  said 
beadle  had  given  to  two  counsellors  of  the  same  court ;  for 

*  Thomas,  the  son  of  Edward  Talbot  of  Lancashire,  apprehended 
King  Henry  VI.  as  he  sat  at  dinner  at  Waddington  Hall  in  Cleather- 
wood,  in  Lancashire;  and,  forgetting  all  respect  due  to  so  great  a 
prince,  like  a  common  malefactor,  with  his  legs  tied  under  his  horse's 
belly,  guarded  him  up  towards  London.  By  the  way  the  earl  of  War- 
wick met  him,  who  arrested  him.  and  taking  off  his  gilt  spurs,  led  him 
prisoner  to  the  Tower.  —  Old  note 


1460.]  THE    SCANDALOUS   CHRONICLE.  301 

which  misdemeanor  the  said  beadle  was  put  into  the  common 
gaol  of  Paris  ;  which  method  of  proceeding  the  whole  Uni- 
versity highly  resented,  and  were  so  extremely  displeased 
with  it,  that,  till  the  affair  was  accommodated,  and  the 
beadle  restored  to  his  liberty,  they  refused  either  to  preach, 
pray,  or  read  to  the  people ;  but,  upon  his  enlargement, 
they  were  well  satisfied,  and  performed  their  usual  duty. 

About  this  time  a  certain  person,  called  Anthony  the 
Bastard  of  Burgundy,  came  into  Paris  in  a  disguise,  and 
staid  there  only  one  day  and  a  night;  and  when  the  inhabit- 
ants of  the  city  were  informed  of  his  coming  in  that  manner, 
several  officers  and  men  of  note  could  not  imagine  what 
should  be  the  meaning  of  it,  and  immediately  despatched 
certain  persons  to  carry  the  news  of  it  to  the  king,  who 
spoke  very  favourably  of  the  citizens,  and  declared  they 
were  not  in  the  least  privy  to  his  coming  in  that  clandestine 
way.  Upon  which  the  king  in  all  haste  sent  the  Marshal 
de  Loheac,  and  M.  John  Bureau,  Treasurer  of  France,  to 
inquire  into  the  truth  of  the  relation  that  was  brought  him, 
and  to  take  all  the  care  imaginable  to  prevent  whatever 
designs  this  emissary  of  the  house  of  Burgundy  might  have 
formed  in  the  city.  At  the  same  time  also  the  citizens  of 
Paris,  (to  free  themselves  from  all  manner  of  suspicion  of 
their  consenting  to  his  coming  incognito,)  deputed  some  of 
the  chief  of  their  citizens,  among  whom  were  M.  John  de 
Lolive,  Doctor  of  Divinity,  and  the  Chancellors  of  the 
Church  of  Paris,  Nicholas  de  Louviers,  M.  John  Clerebourg, 
Master  of  the  Mint  ;  M.  John  Lullier,  Town  Clerk  ;  James 
Kebours,  Attorney ;  John  Volant,  Merchant,  and  several 
others,  to  represent  the  matter  fairly  to  the  king.  His 
majesty  received  them  very  graciously  ;  and,  after  they  had 
ended  their  speech,  which  was  made  to  clear  their  innocence, 
he  was  extremely  well  satisfied  with  them,  and  having  given 
them  a  very  mild  and  gracious  answer,  they  returned  to 
Paris  with  great  joy  and  gladness  of  heart. 

At  that  time  M.  Robert  Destouteville,  who  was  mayor  of 
Paris,  was  committed  prisoner  to  the  Bastille,  and  afterwards 
to  the  Louvre,  by  the  command  of  the  Marshal  de  Loheac 
and  M.  John  Bureau  ;  for  some  injustice  and  abuses  he  had 
committed  in  the  exercise  of  his  office,  though  it  was  never 
fairly  proved  upon  him.     About  that  time  also  several  ruda 


302  THE    SCANDALOUS    CHRONICLE.  [1460. 

and  uncivil  actions  were  committed  by  M.  John  Advin, 
counsellor  of  the  parliament  of  Paris,  in  the  liouse  of  the 
said  Destouteville,  such  as  searching  of  boxes,  trunks,  and 
other  places  for  letters ;  not  to  mention  the  several  incivi- 
lities he  offered  to  the  Lady  Amhroise  de  Lore,  his  wife, 
who  was  a  woman  of  great  virtue,  honour,  and  wisdom. 

In  this  year  the  rivers  Seine  and  Marne  were  swollen 
so  prodigiously,  that  in  one  night's  time  the  Marne  rose 
above  six  feet  high  about  St.  Maur  des-Fossez,  and  did  a 
great  deal  of  damage  in  several  places ;  but  among  the 
rest,  the  river  came  up  so  high  in  a  village  called  Claye,  in 
which  there  was  a  palace  belonging  to  the  Bishop  of  Meaux, 
that  it  washed  away  all  the  brick-work  of  the  front  of  it, 
where  there  were  two  stately  towers  newly  erected,  in  which 
there  were  fine  and  large  apartments  richly  furnished  and 
adorned  with  tapestry,  pictures,  &c,  but  the  river  swept  all 
away. 

About  that  time  also  it  happened,  that  the  body  of  the 
church  of  Fecamp  in  Normandy  was  burnt  down  to  the 
ground  by  a  fiery  exhalation  that  came  from  the  sea  towards 
the  Marches  of  Cornwall ;  and  caught  hold  of  the  steeple  of 
the  said  abbey  which  was  quite  consumed,  and  all  the  bells 
melted  down,  to  the  great  loss  and  detriment  of  the  abbot 
and  his  whole  fraternity. 

At  the  same  time  there  was  a  great  noise  and  discourse  all 
over  the  kingdom  of  France,  and  other  places,  of  a  young 
girl  of  about  eighteen  years  of  age,  who  lived  in  the  city  of 
Mans,  and  played  several  ridiculous  pranks  and  follies  ; 
such  as  foaming  at  the  mouth,  leaping  into  the  air,  screaming 
out  aloud,  putting  her  body  into  a  thousand  convulsive  mo- 
tions, and  pretending  to  be  tormented  by  the  devil;  by 
which  antic  tricks,  and  several  others  too  tedious  to  mention 
here,  she  imposed  upon  and  cheated  abundance  of  people 
that  came  to  see  her.  But  at  last  she  was  discovered  to  be 
an  idle  hussy,  and  that  she  played  all  her  devilish  pranks  by 
the  instigation  and  contrivance  of  some  of  the  officers  be- 
longing to  the  Bishop  of  Mans,  who  maintained  her  for  that 
purpose ;  and  had  so  far  brought  her  to  their  beck,  that  she 
would  do  anything  they  bid  her,  and  they  had  trained  her  up 
from  her  infancy  to  play  these  pranks. 

About  the  same  time  it  happened  in  England,  some  time 


1460.1  THE    SCANDALOUS    CnROMCLE.  303 

after  the  Earl  of  Warwick's  seizing  upon  the  person  of  King 
Henry,  that  the  Duke  of  Somerset  the  king's  cousin,  in  con- 
junction with  several  young  noblemen,  relations  and  heirs  to 
those  who  were  slain  at  the  taking  of  King  Henry,  having 
got  together  a  considerable  body  of  men,  took  the  field,  and 
marched  directly  against  the  Duke  of  York,  found  him  en- 
camped in  the  plains  of  St.  Albans*,  where  they  gave  him 
battle,  and  cut  him  and  his  whole  army  to  pieces.  In  this 
battle  the  Duke  of  York  was  slain  himself,  and  when  his 
body  was  found  they  cut  off  his  head,  and  by  way  of  derision, 
because  he  pretended  to  the  crown  of  England,  they  fixed  it 
upon  the  point  of  a  lance,  and  put  a  crown  of  straw  in  the 
form  of  a  royal  crown  upon  it.  With  him  there  fell  in  the 
battle  six  and  twenty  barons,  knights,  esquires,  and  persons 
of  note  in  the  kingdom  ;  besides  a  great  number  of  common 
soldiers,  amounting  in  all  to  above  eight  or  nine  thousand 
men. 

And  on  Wednesday  the  third  of  February  in  the  same 
year  1460,  were  read  and  published  at  Rouen,  and  in  several 
other  places  in  the  duchy  of  Normandy,  in  the  public 
market-places  by  sound  of  trumpet,  the  king's  letters  patent ; 
by  which  he  declared  it  was  his  royal  will  and  pleasure  that 
the  whole  country  of  Normandy,  together  with  its  seaports, 
should  be  free  and  open  to  all  English  men  and  women,  of 
what  rank  or  condition  soever ;  and  in  what  habit  soever 
they  shall  think  fit  to  wear,  (provided  they  were  of  King 
Henry's  party,)  and  without  having  any  passport,  to  have 
free  liberty  of  trade  and  commerce  throughout  his  whole 
kingdom. 


*  The  battle  was  not  fought  at  St.  Albans,  but  at  Wakefield  in 
Yorkshire,  on  the  30th  of  December,  1460,  in  which  the  Duke  of 
York  was  killed,  and  afterwards  had  his  head  cut  off,  and  by  way 
of  derision  a  crown  of  paper,  not  of  straw,  as  our  author  writes,  sit 
upon  it,  and  presented  to  Queen  Margaret,  who  not  long  after  sent 
it  with  the  heads  of  other  lords  to  be  fixed  upon  poles  over  the  gate 
of  the  city  of  York.  The  person  that  committed  this  ungenerous  action 
was  the  Lord  Clifford,  who,  after  the  battle  of  Wakefield,  in  cold 
blood  murdered  the  young  Eurl  of  Rutland,  the  Duke  of  York's  third 
Bon.  —  Old  note. 


304  THE    SCANDALOUS   CIIKONICLfi.  [1461. 

1461. 

In  the  year  1461,  in  the  month  of  July,  it  happened  that 
King  Charles  VII.  fell  sick  at  the  castle  of  Meun  upon  the 
Yevre,  of  a  distemper  that  was  incurable,  and  of  which  he 
died  on  Wednesday  the  22nd  of  July,  between  one  and  two 
o'clock,  in  the  afternoon,  much  lamented  by  the  whole  king- 
dom ;  as  being  a  very  wise  and  valiant  prince,  and  leaving 
his  kingdom  in  a  very  peaceful  and  flourishing  condition. 

Immediately  after  the  death  of  the  king  was  publicly 
known,  the  greatest  part  of  the  officers  of  Paris,  and  several 
others  of  the  kingdom,  went  to  pay  their  respects  to  the 
Dauphin,  who  resided  at  the  Duke  of  Burgundy's  court  at 
Hainault;  and  who  by  the  decease  of  his  father  came  to  the 
crown  of  France.  The  occasion  of  their  waiting  on  him 
there,  was,  to  know  his  royal  will  and  pleasure  ;  and  whether 
they  should  be  continued  in  the  same  posts  and  employments 
they  enjoyed  under  his  father :  At  which  place  after  his 
death  he  made  a  promotion  of  several  officers  in  the  chamber 
of  accounts  or  exchequer,  at  Paris  :  Amongst  the  rest,  he 
made  M.  Peter  l'Orfevre  Lord  of  Ermenonville  and  Nicholas 
de  Louviers  counsellors  of  the  same  exchequer,  and  M. 
John  Baillet  master  of  the  requests  and  reporter  of  the 
court  of  chancery :  He  also  confirmed  M.  Simon  Charles, 
who  was  carried  in  a  litter  into  Hainault,  in  the  place  he 
was  possessed  of  in  the  exchequer :  and  the  rest  of  the 
officers  that  came  thither  to  beg  the  favour  of  being  con- 
tinued in  their  respective  posts  and  employments,  were  or- 
dered back  to  Paris  to  wait  for  the  king's  coming  thither. 

And  upon  the  24th  of  July,  1461,  M.  Etienne  Chevalier, 
who  was  treasurer  or  chief  director  of  the  finances  in  the 
reign  of  the  late  King  Charles,  and  whom  he  appointed  to  be 
one  of  the  executors  of  his  last  will  and  testament,  and  also 
M.  Dreux  Bude,  the  grand  audiencier*  of  France,  went 
from  Paris  to  see  the  king's  corpse  that  lay  in  state  at 
Meun  ;  but  the  Lord  d'Aigreville,  captain  of  Montargis,  at 
the  earnest  solicitation  of  a  certain  gentleman  named  Vuaste 
de  Morpedon,  caused  them  both  to  be  seized  at  Montargis  ; 
where  they  remained  prisoners  for  some  time,  till  the  king 

*  One  of  the  chief  officers  of  the  Chancery  of  France,  who  examine* 
all  1c  ters-patent,  &c,  before  they  pass  the  seals. 


1461.]  THE    SCANDALOUS   CHRONICLE.  305 

Bent  orders  for  their  release,  and  continued  them  both  in 
their  respective  employments  of  treasurer  and  audiencier. 

But  it  was  very  observable,  that  on  the  23rd  of  July,  in 
1461,  which  was  the  next  day  after  the  king's  death,  a  large 
blazing  star  was  seen  in  the  sky  about  seven  o'clock  at  night, 
which  cast  such  a  glaring  and  resplendent  light  through  the 
air,  that  all  Paris  seemed  to  be  in  a  flame  ;  but  Heaven  in 
its  mercy  has  been  still  pleased  to  preserve  that  good  city. 

On  Thursday  the  6th  of  August,  1461,  the  body  of  the 
late  King  Charles  VII.  was  brought  from  Meun  with  great 
solemnity,  to  the  Church  of  Notre-Dame  in  the  Fields,  with- 
out the  gates  of  Paris ;  and  the  next  day  the  clergy,  no« 
bility,  officers,  citizens,  and  abundance  of  the  populace  re- 
paired thither,  and  conducted  it  from  thence  to  Paris,  with 
a  great  deal  of  pomp,  ceremony,  and  respect,  as  is  usual 
upon  such  occasions.  The  funeral  procession  was  thus  re- 
gulated. Before  the  corpse  were  borne  two  hundred  wax- 
candles  of  four  pounds  each,  adorned  and  painted  with  the 
arms  of  France,  and  carried  by  two  hundred  inferior  persons 
dressed  in  long  mourning  robes  and  black  caps.  The  body 
was  borne  in  a  litter  by  the  salt-porters  of  Paris,  and  it  was 
lined  and  covered  with  a  rich  cloth  of  gold,  valued  at  one 
thousand  two  hundred  crowns  of  gold  ;  and  upon  the  top  of 
it  was  placed  the  effigies  of  the  late  king  Charles  dressed  in 
his  royal  robes,  with  a  crown  on  his  head,  holding  in  one 
hand  a  sceptre,  and  in  the  other  a  regal  truncheon.  And  in 
this  state  it  was  carried  to  the  great  Church  of  Notre-Dame 
in  Paris  ;  all  the  bellmen  of  the.  city  clothed  also  in  black, 
and  bearing  on  each  side  of  their  gowns  the  arms  of  France, 
marching  before  it ;  and  after  them  came  ihose  that  bore 
the  candles,  adorned  and  painted  with  the  same  arms,  before 
the  litter.  After  the  litter  came  the  Duke  of  Orleans  and 
the  Count  d'Angouleme  as  chief  mourners,  accompanied  by 
the  Counts  d'Eu  and  Dunois ;  M.  John  Jouvenelle  des 
Ursins,  knight  and  chancellor  of  France,  and  the  master  of 
the  horse ;  all  clothed  in  deep  mourning,  and  mounted  on 
horseback.  Next  to  them  marched  all  the  officers  of  the 
household  to  the  late  king,  on  foot,  by  two  and  two,  dressed 
in  deep  mourning  also  ;  and  close  to  the  litter  rode  six  pages 
in  black  upon  six  fine  horses  covered  all  over  with  black 
velvet,  which  was  a  very  dismal  and  melancholy  Bight  to 

VOL.   U.  X 


306  THE    SCANDALOUS    CHliONlCLE.  [1461 

behold.  And  there  was  such  an  universal  concern  and  la» 
mentation  for  his  death,  that  scarce  a  dry  eye  was  left  in  the 
whole  city ;  nay,  it  is  reported,  that  one  of  his  pages  took 
nis  master's  death  so  to  heart,  that  for  four  whole  days  toge- 
ther Le  neither  ate  nor  drank  anything.  The  next  day, 
which  was  the  9th  of  August,  his  body  was  removed  from 
the  Church  of  Notre-Dame,  in  Paris,  about  three  in  the 
afternoon,  and  carried  with  the  above-mentioned  pomp  and 
ceremony  to  St.  Denis,  where  it  was  deposited,  and  now 
lies. 

Towards  the  end  of  this  month  our  most  gracious  sove- 
reign Louis  XI.,  then  only  dauphin  and  eldest  son  of  Charles 
VII.  lately  deceased,  was  crowned  King  of  France  at 
Rheims  by  the  Archbishop  Jouvenal,  where  he  was  attended 
by  the  greatest  part  of  the  nobility  of  his  kingdom. 

Upon  the  last  day  of  this  month  of  August,  the  king  set 
out  from  an  hotel  named  Les  Porcherons,  which  was  in  the 
suburbs  near  the  gate  of  St.  Honore,  belonging  to  M.  John 
Bureau,  who  was  knighted  at  his  coronation  at  Rheims,  in 
order  to  make  his  public  entry  into  Paris  ;  upon  which  the 
whole  body  of  the  nobility,  clergy,  and  gentry  came  out  to 
pay  their  homage  to  him,  and  welcome  him  to  their  city  ; 
amongst  whom  were  the  Bishop  of  Paris  named  William 
Chartier,  the  whole  University,  the  Court  of  Parliament, 
the  Mayor  of  Paris,  all  the  officers  of  the  Exchequer,  and  the 
provost  of  the  merchants,  with  the  aldermen  in  their  damask 
robes  lined  with  sables.  And  the  mayor  and  aldermen, 
after  they  had  saluted  and  paid  their  respects  to  the  king, 
presented  him  with  the  keys  of  the  city  gates,  through  which 
he  was  to  make  his  entry,  which  lie  very  graciously  returned ; 
and  then  the  way  was  ordered  to  be  cleared,  to  make  room 
for  others  to  approach  his  majesty,  and  make  their  compli- 
ment to  him,  of  which  number  he  made  a  great  many 
knights  on  the  spot.  As  the  king  passed  through  the  gate 
of  St.  Denis,  he  found  near  the  Church  of  St.  Ladre  a 
herald  mounted  on  horseback,  and  clothed  in  the  city  livery, 
who  presented  to  him  five  ladies  on  the  part  of  the  city, 
richly  dressed,  and  mounted  on  five  fine  horses  sumptuously 
accoutred  with  rich  furniture,  on  which  were  embroidered 
the  city  arms  ;  and  these  five  ladies  were  habited  after  a  sort 
of  manner  representing  the  five  letters  of  Paris,  and  every 


146!.]  THE   SCANDALOUS   CHRONICLE.  307 

one  of  them  made  a  speech  to  the  king,  which  was  prepared 
for  tliem  beforehand. 

There  was  a  very  great  appearance  at  the  king's  public 
entry  into  Paris,  both  of  his  own  nobility,  and  of  foreign 
princes  and  noblemen,  amongst  whom  were  the  Dukes  of 
Orleans,  Burgundy,  Bourbon,  and  Cleves,  the  Count  de 
Charolois,  the  Duke  of  Burgundy's  eldest  son,  the  Counts 
d'Angouleme,  St.  Paul,  and  Dunois,  besides  several  other 
earls,  barons,  knights,  captains,  and  a  great  number  of  per- 
sons of  note  and  distinction,  who,  in  honour  of  the  day,  and 
to  augment  the  splendour  and  magnificence  of  the  triumphal 
entry,  had  bestowed  vast  sums  in  rich  and  costly  furniture, 
with  which  their  horses  were  caparisoned  :  some  of  their 
housings  were  of  the  richest  cloth  of  gold,  made  after  dif- 
ferent fashions,  and  lined  with  sables  ;  others  were  of  crimson 
velvet,  lined  with  ermine  or  rich  damask,  embroidered  with 
gold  and  silver,  and  hung  round  with  great  silver  bells,  which 
were  of  a  considerable  value  ;  and  upon  the  horses  rode  fine 
young  pages,  the  very  flower  of  youth  and  beauty,  richly 
dressed,  and  wearing  embroidered  scarfs  over  their 
shoulders,  that  hung  down  to  the  crupper,  which  made  a 
very  noble  and  gallant  show. 

The  Parisians  on  this  occasion  caused  a  very  fine  ship  to 
be  cast  in  silver,  which  was  borne  aloft  upon  men's  shoulders, 
and  just  as  the  king  made  his  entry  through  the  gate  of  St. 
Denis,  it  was  placed  upon  the  drawbridge  near  the  said 
gate,  to  represent  the  city  arms.  In  it  were  placed  three 
persons  representing  the  three  estates  of  the  kingdom  ;  and 
in  the  stern  and  the  poop  sat  two  more  personating  justice 
and  equity;  and  out  of  the  scuttle,  which  was  formed  in  the 
shape  of  a  fleur-de-lis,  issued  a  king  dressed  in  royal  robes, 
and  attended  by  two  angels.  A  little  farther,  at  the  fountain 
du  Ponceau,  there  were  wild  men  that  played  the  parts  of 
gladiators,  and  near  them  were  placed  three  handsome 
wenches,  representing  mermaids,  sporting  and  singing  gay 
enlivening  airs,  which  were  humoured  and  accompanied  with 
the  melodious  harmony  of  soft  music.  And  to  comfort  and 
refresh  the  people,  there  were  several  pipes  in  the  said 
fountain  that  ran  milk,  wine,  and  hippocras,  of  which  every 
one  drank  what  he  pleased  ;  and  a  little  below  the  fountain, 
the  passion  of  our  Saviour  was  represented  as  he  was  crucified 

X  2 


30S  THE    SCANDALOUS    CHRONICLE.  [1161. 

between  two  thieves.  At  a  little  distance  from  tins  crucifix 
there  were  posted  a  band  of  men  richly  dressed,  representing 
hunters  that  had  just  run  down  a  stag,  whose  death  was 
accompanied  with  the  melodious  noise  of  dogs  and  horns  ; 
and  in  the  Rue  de  la  Boucherie  there  were  large  scaffolds 
erected  in  the  form  of  the  Bastile  at  Dieppe.  And  when 
the  king  had  passed  by  them,  the  English  who  were  within 
the  Bastile  were  furiously  attacked  by  the  king's  soldiers, 
taken  prisoners,  and  had  all  their  throats  cut.  Opposite  to 
the  gate  of  the  Chastellet  there  was  a  fine  appearance  of 
persons  of  quality  ;  all  the  windows  were  hung  with  rich 
tapestry,  and  the  streets  through  which  the  king  passed  were 
crowded  with  a  prodigious  number  of  people.  In  this  pomp- 
ous manner  he  proceeded  to  the  Church  of  Notre-Dame ; 
and  having  performed  his  devotions  to  the  blessed  Virgin,  he 
returned  to  his  royal  palace,  where  he  had  a  splendid  and  mag- 
nificent entertainment,  and  lay  there  that  night.  The  next 
morning,  which  was  the  first  of  September  in  the  year  1461, 
he  removed  from  thence  into  his  Hotel  des  Tournelles,  near 
the  Bastile  de  St.  Antoine,  where  he  staid  some  time,  during 
which  he  made  several  acts  and  ordinances,  and  turned 
several  of  the  officers  of  his  kingdom  out  of  their  posts  and  em- 
ployments, amongst  the  rest  the  Chancellor  Juvenal  des 
Ursins,  the  marshal,  the  admiral,  the  first  president  of  the 
Court  of  Parliament,  and  the  provost  of  Paris,  and  put  new 
ones  in  their  places. 

He  also  made  a  new  regulation  in  all  his  courts  of  justice 
and  offices  belonging  to  the  crown,  especially  in  the  Ex- 
chequer, Treasury,  and  the  Mint,  turning  out  abundance 
of  counsellors,  secretaries,  receivers-general,  clerks,  and 
other  officers  of  an  inferior  nature,  and  putting  others  in 
their  room. 

The  3rd  of  September,  1461,  the  king,  attended  by  some 
of  the  lords  and  gentlemen  of  his  court,  was  entertained  at 
supper  in  the  house  of  one  M.  William  de  Corbie,  a  coun- 
sellor of  the  court  of  Parliament,  whom  he  made  President, 
of  Dauphiny  that  very  night.  There  were  abundance  of 
fine  ladies  and  honest  citizens'  wives  to  see  the  king  at 
supper  ;  and  during  his  stay  at  Paris  he  ordered  several 
feasts  and  entertainments  to  be  made  in  divers  places  of  the 
city  on  purpose  to  treat  and  divert  them. 

About  this  time  it   happened,    that   a   beautiful  young 


1464  ]  THE    SCANDALOUS    CHRONICLE.  309 

Troman  named  Joan  du  Bois,  wife  to  a  certain  officer  belong- 
ing to  the  Chastellet  of  Paris,  made  an  elopement  from  her 
husband,  but  afterwards,  by  the  counsel  and  advice  of  his  in- 
timate friends,  he  took  her  home  again.  She  became  a  very 
good  woman,  and  lived  a  sober  and  virtuous  life  with  her 
husband  afterwards. 

1462-3. 

In  the  years  1462  and  1463  nothing  material  or  worth 
recording  happened,  and  therefore  I  have  passed  them  over 
in  silence.  And  as  for  the  year  1463,  as  I  have  already 
observed,  there  was  nothing  happened  in  it  worth  taking 
notice  of,  unless  it  was  the  shortness  of  the  winter  and  the 
length  of  the  summer,  which  was  extremely  pleasant,  and 
very  favourable  to  the  vines,  so  that  we  had  plenty  of  good 
wine  that  year,  but  a  great  scarcity  of  all  other  fruits  of  the 
earth. 

1464. 

In  the  year  1464,  upon  Tuesday  the  15th  of  May,  the 
king  came  from  Nogent  le  Roy,  where  the  queen  was 
brought  to  bed  of  a  young  princess  ;  and  on  the  same  day  in 
the  evening  supped  at  the  house  of  M.  Charles  d'Orgemont 
Lord  of  Mery,  and  from  thence  he  set  out  for  the  frontiers 
of  Picardy,  where  he  expected  to  have  found  the  ambas- 
sadors whom  Edward  King  of  England  had  promised  to 
send  thither  to  him,  but  they  never  came  ;  whereupon  the 
king  left  Picardy  and  made  a  progress  to  Rouen,  and  several 
other  places  in  Normandy.  About  that  time  it  happened 
that  a  small  vessel  of  Dieppe  was  seized  upon  the  coast  of 
Holland  by  some  of  the  Duke  of  Burgundy's  ships,  in  which 
there  was  a  person  named  the  Bastard  of  Rubempre,  who,  with 
the  rest  of  the  ship's  crew,  was  immediately  clapped  into 
prison,  upon  pretence  that  their  design  of  hovering  about 
those  parts  was  purely  to  seize  upon  the  person  of  the  Count 
de  Charolois:  and  this  report  the  Flemings  spread  abroad 
everywhere,  but  there  was  nothing  in  it. 

About  that  time  the  king  set  out  from  Normandy  in  his 
return  to  Nogent,  from  whence  he  went  to  visit  Tours, 
Chinon,  and  Poitiers,  at  which  place  arrived  the  deputies 
that  were  sent  by  the  city  of  Paris  to  desire  his  majesty  to 

X  3 


310  THE    SCANDALOUS   CHRONICLE.  [1464. 

grant  them  farther  privileges  ;  but  all  they  were  able  to 
obtain  of  him  was,  only  to  be  exempted  from  a  small  tax 
called  the  Foreign  Impost,  which  was  no  great  matter  ;  and 
even  that  small  gift  they  did  not  enjoy,  for  the  clerks 
of  the  Exchequer,  to  whom  their  letters  patent  were  di- 
rected, were  negligent,  and  would  not  despatch  their  business 
in  time.  The  ambassadors  of  the  Duke  of  Bretagne  were 
likewise  to  wait  on  him  there,  whom  he  heard  upon  several 
articles  that  were  brought  him  in  relation  to  the  affair 
between  the  duke  and  him  ;  which  articles,  or  at  least  the 
greatest  part  of  them,  were  granted  and  allowed  by  his 
majesty ;  and  by  those  articles  of  agreement  the  said  ambas- 
sadors did  promise  and  engage  that  their  master  the  Duke  of 
Bretagne  should  wait  on  his  majesty,  either  at  Poitiers  or 
elsewhere,  to  confirm  and  ratify  the  said  articles.  After 
which,  the  ambassadors  took  their  leave  of  the  king,  pre- 
tending to  return  into  Bretagne;  but  they  did  quite  the  con- 
trary, as  you  will  find  hereafter.  The  day  they  set  out 
from  Poitiers,  which  was  Saturday,  they  went  but  four 
leagues,  where  they  stayed  till  the  Monday  following  ;  and 
upon  Sunday  the  Duke  of  Berry,  the  king's  own  brother, 
departed  from  Poitiers  also,  and  lay  that  night  with  the 
ambassadors,  who  received  him  with  abundance  of  kindness 
and  civility,  and  the  next  morning  early  in  great  haste  they 
all  set  out  together  for  Bretagne,  fearing  lest  the  king 
should  be  informed  of  his  brother's  going  with  them,  and 
upon  that  account  follow  them:  besides  the  Count  deDunois 
was  already  arrived  at  the  Duke  of  Bretagne's  court,  which 
would  be  apt  to  give  the  king  a  suspicion  of  some  secret 
designs  on  foot  against  him. 

Soon  after  the  departure  of  these  ambassadors,  the  Duke 
of  Bourbon  declares  war  against  the  king,  and  invades  his 
dominions,  seizing  upon  whatever  belonged  to  the  king,  in 
his  territories,  and  putting  the  Lord  de  Croussol,  a  great 
favourite  of  the  king's,  under  an  arrest.  This  Lord  de 
Croussol  was  only  passing  through  his  country  with  his  lady 
and  the  rest  of  his  family  ;  however,  they  were  all  of  them 
arrested  and  confined  in  the  city  of  Cosne  in  Bourbonnois. 

After  this,  William  Juvenal  des  Ursins  Lord  of  Traynel, 
formerly  chancellor  of  France,  and  M.  Peter  Doriollc  the 
late  treasurer,  were  also  arrested  ia  the  citj  of  Moulin8| 


1164.]  THE    SCANDALOUS    CHRONICLE.  oil 

where  they  endured  a  Ion?  imprisonment  ;  but  at  last  the 
Duke  of  Bourbon  released  them,  and  gave  them  liberty  to 
go  back  to  the  king. 

On  Sunday  the  12th  of  March,  in  the  year  1464,  after 
the  Duke  of  Berry's  departure  from  Poitiers,  Anthony 
Chabannes  Count  de  Dammartin,  who  was  a  prisoner  in 
the  Bastile  de  St.  Antoine,  made  his  escape  and  fled  into 
Berry  and  Bourbonnois,  where  he  was  kindly  received. 
But  several  who  were  suspected  to  have  been  accessary  to  his 
escape,  were  immediately  committed  to  prison. 

On  Wednesday  the  15th  of  March,  M.  Charles  de  Melun 
the  king's  lieutenant,  M.  John  Balue  Bishop  of  Evreux,  and 
M.  John  le  Prevost,  with  the  king's  secretary,  met  together 
in  the  Hotel  de  Ville,  where  they  caused  several  articles,  that 
the  king  had  given  them  in  charge,  to  be  read  ;  and  after  the 
reading  was  over,  they  made  several  acts  and  ordinances  for 
the  better  defence  and  security  of  the  city.  Amongst  the  rest, 
there  was  a  particular  order  to  appoint  a  strong  watch  to 
guard  the  city  gates  by  night,  to  shut  them  at  a  fixed 
hour,  to  have  iron  chains  fastened  at  the  end  of  every  street, 
to  bar  them  up  upon  any  occasion  ;  and  several  others, 
which  being  too  long  to  be  inserted  here,  I  shall  for  brevity's 
sake  omit  them. 

But  after  the  escape  of  the  Count  de  Dammartin,  the 
king  found  out  a  stratagem  to  surprise  the  two  strong  places 
of  Fourgeau  and  Morue,  which  were  defended  by  Jeflery 
Coeur,  son  of  the  late  Jacques  Coeur,  whom  he  made  prisoner, 
and  seized  upon  all  the  riches  he  found  in  them. 

As  soon  as  this  business  was  over,  the  king,  attended  by 
the  King  of  Sicily  and  the  Lord  du  Maine,  marched  towards 
Angers  and  Pont  de  Ce,  to  demand  of  those  who  had  so 
basely  deserted  him  what  reasons  induced  them  to  retire 
and  withdraw  themselves  into  Bretagne.  He  ordered  his 
arm}',  which  was  chiefly  composed  of  the  standing  forces  of 
the  kingdom,  and  amounted  to  twenty  or  thirty  thousand 
men,  immediately  to  follow  him ;  but  after  he  had  been 
there  for  some  time,  and  found  he  could  not  possibly  finish 
the  war  on  that  side  so  soon  as  he  expected,  he  marched 
with  a  strong  detachment  and  some  cannon  into  the  duchy 
of  Berry,  towards  Yssoudun,  Viarzon,  Dreux,  and  other 
neighbouring  towns,  leaving  the  King  of  Sicily  and  the 

x  4 


312  THE    SCANDALOUS   CHRONICLE.  [1465. 

Count  du  Maine  with  a  good  body  of  troops  to  defend  and 
guard  the  passes,  and  to  hinder  the  Bretons  from  pene- 
trating either  into  Normandy,  or  into  an)'  other  part  of  his 
kingdom. 

The  king  made  hut  a  short  stay  in  the  Duchy  of  Berry, 
and  from  thence  he  marched  into  Bourbonnois,  leaving  the 
city  of  Bourges  behind  him,  in  which  there  was  a  strong 
garrison  commanded  by  Monsieur  the  Duke  of  Bourbon's 
bastard,  who  held  it  for  the  Duke  of  Berry.  He  marched  into 
Bourbonnois,  where  the  town  and  castle  of  St.  Aniant  Lalier 
were  taken  by  storm  on  the  day  of  our  Lord's  ascension,  and 
a  little  after  the  town  and  castle  of  Molucon  surrendered 
upon  articles  of  capitulation,  in  which  were  James  de  Bour- 
bon with  about  thirty-five  lances,  who  took  an  oath  never  to 
bear  arms  against  the  king  again,  upon  which  they  were 
suffered  to  march  out  without  being  plundered,  and  had  the 
liberty  of  going  where  they  pleased. 

Upon  Ascension-eve  the  Chancellor  Traynel,  M.  Estienne 
Chevalier,  Nicholas  de  Louviers,  and  M.  John  de  Molins 
arrived  at  Paris,  by  whom  the  king  wrote  to  his  good  people 
and  citizens  of  that  place,  thanking  them  for  their  good  in- 
clinations and  loyalty  to  him,  exhorting  them  to  continue 
firm  and  steadfast  in  their  allegiance,  and  commanding  them 
to  conduct  the  que^n  safe  to  Paris,  where  he  would  have  her 
lie  in,  as  he  loved  that  city  above  any  in  his  kingdom. 

1465. 

On  Thursday  the  30th  of  May,  in  1465,  it  happened  that 
one  John  de  Hure,  merchant  of  the  city  of  Sens,  came  with 
his  nephew  and  some  other  company  to  lodge  in  a  mill, 
which  was  called  the  Little  Mill,  on  the  other  side  of  Moret 
in  Gastinois  ;  and  about  midnight  thirty  or  forty  horse,  well 
armed,  came  and  beat  up  their  quarters,  plundered  them  of 
all  they  had,  and  carried  away  the  merchant  and  his  whole 
company  prisoners.  At  the  same  time  the  king  ordered  the 
bridges  of  Chamois  and  Beaumont  on  the  Oise,  with  several 
others,  to  be  broken,  down. 

About  that  time  the  Bastard  of  Burgundy  and  the  Mar- 
shal of  Burgundy,  with  a  considerable  body  of  the  Count  de 
Chaiolois's  forces,  invaded  the  king's  dominions,  and  took 


1465.]  THE    SCANDALOUS    CHRONICLE.  318 

from  him  the  towns  of  Roye  and  Montdidier.  Upon  which 
the  Count  de  Neversand  Joachim  Rouault  Marshal  of  France, 
who  were  in  Peronne  with  a  garrison  of  about  four  thousand 
men,  retired  with  part  of  them  to  Noyon  and  Compiegne, 
leaving  some  of  the  nobility  with  about  five  hundred  Frank 
archers  in  Peronne  for  its  defence. 

At  the  same  time  the  king,  who  was  then  in  Bourbonnois, 
left  that  country  and  retired  to  St.  Poursain,  whither  his 
sister  the  Duchess  of  Bourbon  and  Auvergne  came  also  to 
wait  on  him,  being  extremely  concerned  at  the  difference 
that  there  was  between  the  king  her  brother  and  her  husband 
the  Duke  of  Bourbon,  and  she  hoped  by  that  means  to  have  ac- 
commodated matters  between  them  ;  but  it  was  not  in  her 
power  to  do  it.  In  the  mean  time,  however,  the  Duke  of 
Bourbon  evacuated  Moulins,  and  retired  to  Riom. 

About  this  time  came  orders  for  the  besieging  of  St. 
Maurice,  which  the  Count  de  Dammartin  obstinately  held 
against  the  king.  M.  Charles  de  Melun,  Bailiff  of  Sens, 
with  several  others  of  the  same  corporation,  had  the  di- 
rection of  that  siege,  but  finding  the  body  of  men  that  were 
under  their  command  too  weak  for  such  an  undertaking,  M. 
Anthony  Bailiff  of  Melun  was  ordered  thither  with  a 
strong  reinforcement  of  archers  and  cross-bow-men  from 
Paris,  and  upon  the  arrival  of  these  forces,  the  count  beat 
a  retreat,  and  surrendered  the  town  upon  articles  of  capitu- 
lation. 

On  the  25th  of  June,  it  was  ordered  by  the  magistrates  of 
Paris  assembled  in  the  Hotel  de  Ville.  that  the  streets  should 
be  unchained,  but  that  the  iron  chains  should  still  remain 
hanging  at  the  corner  of  every  street  to  which  they  be- 
longed, in  order  to  have  them  in  a  readiness  upon  any  oc- 
casion; that  persons  should  be  deputed  to  examine  what  con- 
dition they  were  in,  and  if  they  wanted  mending  to  get 
them  instantly  repaired,  and  keep  them  always  fit  for  ser- 
vice ;  which  was  accordingly  done.  There  was  also  another 
order  issued  out,  by  which  every  citizen  was  obliged  to  take 
arms,  and  to  lay  in  a  stock  of  provision  and  ammunition  for 
the  defence  of  the  city  in  case  of  need;  and  this  order 
was  sent  in  writing  to  every  particular  housekeeper  in 
Paris. 

It  was  much  about  this  time  that  a  great  body  of  Burgun* 


314  THE    SCANDALOUS    CHRONICLE.  [14G& 

dians,  Picardians,  and  of  other  nations  subject  to  the  Count 
de  Charolois,  marched  into  France  as  far  as  Pont  St.  Maxence, 
which  one  Madre,  who  was  the  govornor  of  it,  delivered  up 
to  the  Count  de  Charolois  for  a  certain  sum  of  money  :  upon 
which  he  advanced  with  his  army  into  the  Isle  of  France, 
where  he  committed  great  ravages  and  devastations,  notwith- 
standing he  pretended  this  war  was  undertaken  purely  for 
the  public  good,  and  to  free  the  subjects  of  France  from  the 
tyranny  of  their  king. 

Soon  after  this  business  of  Pont  St.  Maxence,  the  Bur- 
gundians  took  Beaulieu,  which  a  party  of  the  Marshal  Joa- 
chim's own  regiment  had  a  long  time  defended,  and  held 
out  against  them ;  who  at  last  surrendered  upon  articles, 
and  marched  out  with  bag  and  baggage,  and  the  usual 
marks  of  honour. 

And  as  soon  as  the  Burgundians  had  entered  the  Isle  of 
France,  they  dispersed  themselves  in  small  bodies  all  over 
the  county,  and  took  Dammartin,  Nantouillet,  Villemonble, 
and  several  other  inconsiderable  places,  and  afterwards  at 
Laigny  they  committed  great  disorders  and  outrages,  tearing 
and  burning  all  the  papers  relating  to  the  public  accounts  of 
the  province,  ordering  that  all  commodities  should  be  free 
from  taxes  in  the  town,  and  commanding  the  salt  which  was 
stored  up  in  the  public  granaries  for  the  king's  use,  to  be 
given  to  whomsoever  had  occasion  for  it,  upon  paying  custom 
for  it. 

About  this  time  the  king,  who  was  in  Bourbonnois,  laid 
siege  to  Riom,  in  Auvergne,  in  which  were  the  Duke  of 
Bourbon  and  Nemours,  the  Count  dArmagnac,  the  Lord 
Albret,  and  several  other  persons  of  note.  Tne  king  had, 
at  that  time  when  he  invested  the  town,  the  finest  army  that 
ever  was  seen  ;  having,  in  all,  including  the  nobility  and 
persons  of  note  and  distinction,  above  24,000  effective  men  of 
regidar  troops. 

And,  on  Wednesday,  the  4th  of  July,  in  the  same  year, 
the  king,  who  was  still  before  Riom,  wrote  letters  to  M. 
Charles  Melun,  his  lieutenant  in  Paris,  the  Marshal  Joa- 
chim, and  the  citizens  of  Paris,  which  he  sent  by  M.  Charles 
de  Charlay,  the  captain  of  the  watch  ;  and  in  these  letters 
he  heartily  thanked  his  good  citizens  of  Paris  for  their  stead- 
fastness and  loyalty  to  his  person,  desiring  and  exhorting 


1465.]  TIIE    SCANDALOUS    CHRONICLE.  315 

them  to  continue  in  their  duty  and  allegiance,  and  assuring 
them  that  within  fifteen  days  he  would  be  at  Paris,  with  his 
whole  army.  He  also  ordered  the  said  Charles  de  Charlay 
to  acquaint  them  by  word  of  mouth  of  certain  terms  and 
articles  of  agreement  that  he  had  made  with  the  Dukes  of 
Bourbon  and  Nemours,  and  the  Lords  d'Armagnac  and 
Albret,  and  how  by  the  compact  all  and  every  of  them  had 
solemnly  and  sincerely  promised  henceforth  never  to  bear 
arms  against  him,  but  to  live  and  die  in  his  service  ;  and 
that  the  said  dukes  and  lords  above-mentioned  had  faith- 
fully promised  to  do  their  duty,  in  endeavouring  to  persuade 
the  other  lords  that  were  engaged  in  the  confederacy  to 
accept  of  the  same  terms  of  accommodation  ;  and  that  the 
four  above-mentioned  lords  had  agreed  to  send,  before  the 
feast  of  August,  their  ambassadors  to  the  king  at  Paris,  in 
order  to  treat  of  peace  ;  and  that  if  they  could  not  induce 
the  other  lords  en^a^ed  in  the  same  confederacy  to  hearken 
to  a  peace,  they  had  solemnly  vowed  and  sworn  to  keep  the 
promise  they  had  made  of  never  bearing  arms  against  the 
king,  but  to  live  and  die  in  defence  of  him  and  his  king- 
dom. And,  that,  as  a  farther  confirmation  of  this  promise, 
the  above-mentioned  lords  had  caused  it  to  be  registered 
by  two  public  notaries  at  Mossiat,  near  Riom,  agreeing  and 
consenting  to  be  excommunicated,  provided  they,  or  either 
of  them,  should  act  to  the  contrary. 

On  the  Friday  following,  a  large  body  of  the  Count  de 
Charolois's  forces,  the  greatest  part  of  them  Burgundians, 
arrived  at  St.  Denis,  from  whence  they  sent  a  detachment 
to  Point  St.  Cloud,  in  hopes  of  making  themselves  masters  of 
it,  but  not  being  able  to  effect  their  project,  they  marched 
back  to  St.  Denis. 

On  Sunday,  the  12th  of  July,  1465,  the  Burgundians 
appeared  before  Paris,  but  finding  they  could  not  carry 
their  point,  they  retired  to  St.  Denis  with  the  loss  of  a 
few  men,  who  were  endeavouring  to  scale  the  walls. 

On  Monday,  the  8th  of  August,  the  Burgundians  came 
a  second  time  before  Paris,  with  all  their  artillery  and 
heavy  cannon  ;  but  before  their  army  appeared  in  sight  of 
the  town,  they  sent  four  heralds  to  the  Gate  of  St.  Denis, 
at  which  M.  Peter  l'Orfevre,  Lord  of  Ermenonville,  and  M. 
John  de  Pompaincourt,  Lord  of  Cercelles,  commanded  as 


816  THE    SCANDALOUS   CHRONICLE.  [H65. 

captains  of  the  guards  that  day.  Their  pretended  message 
was  to  demand  provision  for  their  army,  and  a  free  admit- 
tance into  Paris  in  a  peaceful  and  friendly  manner;  and  to 
let  the  citizens  know,  that  if  they  refused  to  grant  their 
demands,  they  would  enter  the  town  by  force,  and  give  it 
Up  to  be  plundered  hy  their  soldiers. 

Scarce  had  the  four  heralds  delivered  their  message,  when 
the  Burgundians  (who  thought  to  have  surprised  the  town, 
and  cut  in  pieces  the  guard  that  defended  the  gate  of  St. 
Denis,  without  giving  the  citizens  time  to  return  an  an- 
swer) appeared  with  a  considerable  body  of  forces,  and 
penetrating  as  far  as  St.  Ladre,  were  in  hopes  of  getting 
within  the  barriers  that  led  to  that  gate,  which  they  designed 
to  have  forced  with  their  cannon  and  other  warlike  engines: 
but  the  citizens  made  a  vigorous  resistance,  and  the  Mar- 
shal Joachim  with  his  own  regiment  gave  them  a  very  warm 
reception  ;  so  that  the  Burgundians  finding  that  they  could 
not  succeed  in  their  design,  retired  to  their  camp,  with  the 
loss  of  abundance  of  men  killed  and  wounded.  Immediately 
their  whole  army  invested  the  town,  in  which  they  did  great 
execution  with  their  cannon,  culverins,  and  other  warlike  en- 
gines, and  killed  and  wounded  a  great  many  men.  During 
this  bombardment,  there  was  a  cowardly  rascal  of  a  bailiff 
named  Casin  Chollet,  that  ran  up  and  down  the  streets,  like 
one  frightened  out  of  his  wits,  crying  out,  "  Get  you  into 
your  houses,  O  Parisians,  and  shut  the  doors,  for  the  Bur- 
gundians are  entered  the  town  ;"  which  put  the  inhabitants 
into  so  dreadful  a  consternation,  that  several  women  with 
child  miscarried,  and  others  died  of  the  fright. 

No  action  happened  before  Paris  on  the  Tuesday  follow- 
ing, only  the  Count  de  St.  Paul,  who  was  at  St.  Denis, 
with  the  Count  de  Charolois,  marched  from  thence  with  a  de- 
tachment of  Picardians  and  Burgundians,  in  order  to  possess 
himself  of  Point  St.  Cloud;  but  the  project  failed  at  that  time. 
And  on  the  Wednesday  following,  there  arrived  in  his  camp 
a  fine  train  of  artillery,  consisting  of  about  fifty  or  sixty 
pieces  of  cannon,  which  the  Count  de  Charolois  had  ordered 
to  be  sent  him  ;  and  on  the  same  day,  n  brigade  of  M.  Peter 
de  Breze's  regiment  marched  out  of  Paris,  to  intercept  the 
Burgundians  in  their  march  to  St.  Cloud,  two  of  whom  they 
killed,  and  took  five  prisoners  ;  one  of  whom  received  so 


1465.]  THE    SCANDALOUS   CHKONTCLE.  317 

terrible  a  blow  as  clove  his  head  asunder,  and  the  fore  part 
of  it  hung  down  by  a  bit  of  skin  upon  his  breast.  The 
Burgundians  also  took  an  archer,  servant  to  M.  John  Noyer, 
of  the  same  regiment;  and  in  the  evening  they  made  a 
vigorous  attack  upon  St.  Cloud,  and  storming  the  outworks, 
put  the  garrison,  who  held  it  for  the  king,  into  such  a  con- 
sternation, that  they  agreed  to  capitulate,  and  surrendered 
the  town  immediately  upon  condition  to  be  safely  conducted 
to  Paris,  and  to  deliver  up  the  five  Burgundians  they  had 
taken  that  day  ;  and  for  performance  of  these  articles,  host- 
ages were  exchanged  on  both  sides. 

On  the  Friday  following,  the  magistrates  of  Paris  held  a 
great  council  in  the  Hotel  de  Ville,  to  advise  and  consider  what 
answer  they  should  return  to  the  Burgundians,  who  re- 
quired of  them  to  send  some  commissioners  to  treat  with 
the  Count  de  Charolois,  who  would  privately  inform  them, 
by  word  of  mouth,  of  the  reasons  that  had  induced  him  to 
take  up  arms  against  the  king.  At  last,  after  some  debate, 
they  resolved  to  acquaint  the  Count  de  Charolois  with  their 
resolution  of  sending  some  commissioners  (provided  he 
would  send  them  a  passport  to  Paris),  to  treat  with  him, 
and  to  hear  what  propositions  he  had  to  make ;  letting  him 
know,  at  the  same  time,  that  they  would  communicate  what- 
ever he  had  to  offer,  either  to  the  king,  who  was  at  Orleans, 
or  to  his  privy  council  at  Paris;  who  might  return  what 
an-wer  they  thought  most  proper  in  the  present  posture  of 
affairs.  The  same  day,  about  six  in  the  evening,  two  heralds 
from  the  Count  de  Charolois  came  to  the  gate  of  St.  Honore 
for  the  answer  you  have  already  heard ;  who  were  told,  that 
if  the  Count  de  Charolois  would  be  pleased  to  come  any- 
where near  Paris,  and  send  a  passport,  commissioners 
should  be  sent  to  wait  on  him,  but  nothing  farther  could  be 
granted.  After  this,  they  desired  leave  to  buy  some  paper 
and  parchment,  which  was  granted  them,  but  were  denied 
sugar  and  other  things  that  they  wanted  in  their  camp  for 
their  sick  and  wounded  ;  so  that  they  were  forced  to  return 
w  ithout  these  commodities,  which  they  took  very  ill  of  the 
Parisians. 

On  Sunday,  the  14th  of  July,  1465,  early  in  the  morning, 
arrived  at  Paris  the  Count  de  la  Borde  and  M.  Cousinot, 
who  brought  letters  from  the  king   to  his  good  citizens  ol 


318  THE    SCANDALOUS    CIIHONICI-E  [1465. 

Paris  ;  in  which  the  king,  as  he  had  done  before,  thanked 
them  for  their  zeal  and  affection  to  his  person,  and  for  their 
brave  resistance  and  defence  of  his  capital  against  the  Bur- 
gundians,  desiring  them  withal  to  depend  upon  whatever 
the  said  De  la  Borde  and  Cousinot  should  tell  them  in  his 
name;  the  substance  of  wliich  was,  that  the  king  thanked 
them  heartily  for  their  loyalty  and  good  affection  towards 
him,  desired  tliem  to  continue  firm  and  steadfast  in  it,  and 
that  they  might  depend  on  his  being  at  Paris  (as  a  place  he 
desired  the  most  to  be  in)  on  the  Tuesday  following;  and 
that  lie  had  rather  lose  half  his  kingdom  than  any  misfortune 
or  inconveniency,  that  was  in  his  power  to  prevent,  should 
happen  to  his  good  citizens  of  Paris  ;  whom  he  desired  by 
the  said  Cousinot  to  provide  lodgings  and  quarters  for  his 
men  at  arms,  and  the  retinue  that  he  should  bring  with  him, 
and  to  set  a  reasonable  price  on  all  manner  of  provision  ; 
to  which  M.  Henry  de  Livre,  the  mayor  of  Paris,  imme- 
diately consented,  and  took  all  the  care  imaginable  to  see  it 
done. 

On  the  Monday  following,  theBurgundians  broke  up  from 
St.  Cloud,  and  marched  with  all  their  artillery  and  heavy 
cannon  to  Mont  Tilery,  where  they  encamped,  in  order  to 
join  the  Dukes  of  Berry  and  Bretagne,  the  Count  de  Dunois, 
and  several  others  that  were  coming  in  to  the  Count  de 
Charolois.  The  news  of  this  movement  was  immediately 
despatched  to  the  king,  who  was  on  this  side  Orleans  on  his 
march  towards  Paris,  and  who  in  all  haste,  by  long  and 
tedious  marches,  on  Tuesday  morning,  the  6th  of  July, 
arrived  at  Chartres,  near  Mont  l'Hery ;  from  whence,  with- 
out staying  so  much  as  to  refresh  himself,  or  to  wait  for  the 
coming  up  of  his  whole  army,  which  was  composed  of  the 
finest  horse  (considering  their  number)  that  ever  were  seen, 
he  marched  directly  towards  the  Burgundians,  whom  he  at- 
tacked with  so  much  vigour  and  intrepidity  (though  but 
with  a  handful  of  men),  that  at  the  first  charge  he  broke 
and  entirely  defeated  their  vanguard,  of  which  a  great  num- 
ber were  killed  and  taken  prisoners.  As  soon  as  the  news 
of  this  defeat  had  reached  Paris,  above  thirty  thousand  sal- 
lied out  of  the  gates,  some  of  whom  being  horse,  scoured 
the  country  round,  defeating  and  tiiking  several  small  bodies 
of  the  flying  Burgundians,  as  did  also  the  inhabitants  of  the 


1465.]  THE    SCANDALOUS   CHRONICLE.  319 

neighbouring  towns  round  Paris.  The  Burgundians  lost  in 
this  action  great  part  of  their  bag  and  baggage ;  and  the 
whole  damage  they  sustained,  reckoning  everything,  wa» 
computed  to  amount  to  two  hundred  thousand  crowns  of 
gold.  The  king,  not  being  content  with  defeating  the 
enemy's  vanguard,  and  hoping  to  gain  a  complete  victory 
over  them,  without  refreshing  either  himself  or  his  troops, 
once  more  attacked,  with  only  his  own  guards  and  four  hun- 
dred lances,  a  strong  party  of  Burgundians,  who  had  rallied 
under  the  command  of  the  Count  de  St.  Paul,  who  did  the 
Count  de  Charoluis  good  service  that  day.  The  Burgun- 
dians gave  the  king's  troops  a  warm  reception,  and  being 
drawn  up  in  order  of  battle,  with  their  cannon  playing  upon 
them,  sorely  galled  them,  and  killed  abundance  of  them, 
among  whom  were  several  officers  of  the  king's  own  guard, 
who  behaved  themselves  handsomely  during  the  whole  ac- 
tion, and  stood  firmly  by  the  king,  who  was  hard  put  to  it 
that  day,  and  several  times  in  danger  of  his  own  person  ;  for 
he  had  but  a  handful  of  men,  and  no  cannon.  The  king 
was  pressed  so  hard  by  the  Burgundians,  that  he  knew  not 
which  way  to  turn  himself,  and  was  forced  to  charge  at  the 
head  of  his  troops  during  this  engagement;  and  though  he 
had  but  a  small  body  with  him,  yet  he  still  maintained  his 
ground ;  and  if  he  had  had  a  reinforcement  but  of  five 
hundred  Frank  archers  to  have  pushed  the  Burgundians 
when  they  began  to  give  way,  he  would  have  gained  the 
completest  victory  over  them  that  ever  was  known  in  the 
memory  of  man.  The  Count  de  Charolois  lost  all  his  guards, 
and  the  king  a  great  part  of  his ;  the  Count  de  Charolois 
was  twice  taken  prisoner  by  Jeffery  de  St.  Belin  and  Gilbert 
de  Grassay,  but  was  afterwards  rescued.  Abundance  of 
men  and  horses  were  killed  that  day,  the  greatest  part  of 
which  were  killed  by  the  rascally  Burgundian  foot,  with 
their  pikes  and  other  weapons  tipped  with  iron,  and  not 
a  few  men  of  note  fell  on  both  sides.  And  after  the  battle 
was  over,  the  number  of  the  slain  was  computed  at  three 
thousand  six  hundred  men  ;  and  towards  night,  the  Scotch 
guards,  considering  the  danger  the  king  was  in,  and  the 
great  loss  they  had  sustained,  and  finding  that  the  Burgun- 
dians were  still  pursuing  those  squadrons  they  had  already 
broken,  took  his  majesty,  who  had  been  in  arms  all  day 


320  THE    SCANDALOUS   CHRONICLE.  [1465. 

without  eating  and  drinking,  and  was  much  fatigued  and  dispi- 
rited, and  conducted  him  safe  to  the  castle  of  Mont  l'Hery  ,♦ 
which  was  the  reason  that  several  in  the  army,  who  knew 
nothing  of  the  king's  removing  thither,  and  not  knowing 
where  to  find  him,  reported  he  was  either  killed  or  taken 
prisoner.  Upon  the  news  of  which  the  greatest  part  of  his 
army  ran  away,  and  among  the  rest  the  Count  du  Maine, 
the  Admiral  de  Montauban,  the  Lord  de  la  Borde,  and 
several  other  officers,  with  about  eight  hundred  lances,  with- 
out ever  being  engaged  at  all  that  day  ;  by  which  means  the 
Burgundians  remained  masters  of  the  field  of  battle,  on 
which  were  found  amongst  the  slain  several  persons  of 
quality  and  distinction  on  the  king's  side,  to  wit,  M.  Peter 
de  Breze,  knight  and  seneschal  of  Normandy  ;  Jeffery  de 
St.  Belin,  bailiff  of  Chaumont  ;  Floquet,  bailiff  of  Evreux, 
besides  several  other  knights  and  esquires.  The  Burgun- 
dians also  lost  abundance  of  men,  and  had  more  taken  pri- 
soners than  they  took  of  the  king's  army.  After  the  king 
had  refreshed  himself  a  little  at  the  castle  of  Mont  l'Hery, 
he  marched  with  a  strong  detachment  of  his  forces  to  Cor- 
beil,  where  he  stayed  till  the  Thursday  following,  on  which 
he  arrived  very  late  in  the  evening  at  Paris,  and  supped 
that  night  at  M.  Charles  de  Melun's,  his  lieutenant-general, 
with  several  lords  and  ladies  of  his  court,  besides  several  of 
the  chief  citizens  and  their  wives,  to  whom  his  majesty 
related  the  particulars  of  the  action  at  Mont  l'Hery  in  such 
moving  and  pathetic  terms,  as  drew  tears  from  the  eyes  of 
the  whole  company;  adding  withal,  that  he  designed  by  the 
blessing  of  God  to  attack  the  enemy  once  more  on  the  Mon- 
day following,  and  either  die  on  the  spot,  or  drive  them  out 
of  his  dominions  ;  but  he  was  advised  not  to  hazard  another 
battle,  considering  the  cowardice  and  desertion  of  his  troops, 
that  would  not  stand  by  him  in  the  late  engagement.  How- 
ever, it  was  to  no  purpose,  for  he  was  a  prince  of  an  un- 
daunted courage  and  resolution. 

On  Friday,  the  19th  of  July,  146.5,  M.  William  Chartier 
Bishop  of  Paris,  with  several  counsellors  and  clergymen, 
went  to  wait  on  the  king  at  his  Hotel  des  Tournelles,  and 
'lumbly  besought  his  majesty  that  he  would  be  pleased  to 
make  choice  of  some  wise  and  prudent  council  to  aid  and 
assist  him  in  the  administration  of  public  affairs  for  the 


1 465. J  THE    SCANDALOUS    CHRONICLE.  321 

future,  to  which  he  graciously  consented  ;  and  immediately 
it  was  ordered  that  six  city  counsellors,  six  counsellors  of 
the  court  of  parliament,  and  six  doctors  of  the  University 
of  Paris,  should  be  added  to  the  king's  ordinary  council. 
And  because  the  king  found  he  had  many  enemies  in  his 
kingdom,  they  went  upon  ways  and  means  to  raise  more 
forces,  and  recruit  those  regiments  that  had  suffered  most  in 
the  late  action  of  Mont  l'Hery.  In  order  to  try  how  many 
men  they  could  raise  in  Paris,  it  was  proposed  that  the 
number  of  the  inhabitants  of  every  ward  should  be  taken  in 
writing,  and  that  each  ward  should  furnish  ten  men;  but 
there  was  nothing  done  in  it. 

Upon  the  king's  arrival  at  Paris,  abundance  of  his  troops 
were  forced  to  be  quartered  in  the  villages  round  that  city, 
Brie,  and  other  neighbouring  places,  where  they  committed 
great  disorders,  not  being  content  with  eating  and  drinking 
on  free  cost,  but  also  plundering  the  inhabitants  of  all  they 
had,  and  seizing  upon  whatever  they  could  find,  though  be- 
longing to  some  of  the  citizens  of  Paris.  Nay,  the  king 
himself  was  under  some  difficulties  of  raising  a  sufficient 
sum  of  money  to  pay  those  forces  he  had  in  Paris,  for  some 
of  the  princes  that  had  taken  up  arms  against  him  were  in 
possession  of  those  very  towns  on  which  the  taxes  assigned 
for  that  use  were  to  be  levied,  and  they  refusing  to  let  any 
be  raised  in  their  dominions,  he  was  forced  to  borrow  money 
of  his  officers  and  wealthy  citizens  of  Paris,  some  of  whom, 
upon  their  refusal  to  lend  him  as  much  as  he  proposed,  were 
immediately  put  out  of  all  their  posts  and  employments,  both 
military  and  civil :  among  the  rest,  M.  John  Cheneteau, 
clerk  in  parliament,  M.  Martin  Picard,  counsellor  of  the 
exchequer,  and  several  others. 

On  Wednesday,  the  24th  of  July,  1465,  the  king  ordered 
the  bridge  of  St.  Maxence  to  be  broken  down,  upon  intelli- 
gence that  the  Lord  de  Saveuses  was  marching  with  a  great 
body  of  forces  in  order  to  beat  out  the  king's  troops,  and  put 
a  garrison  of  his  own  into  it.  On  the  same  day  his  majesty 
gave  the  command  of  it  to  John  l'Orfevre,  who  was  the 
governor  of  it,  and  charged  him  to  defend  it  to  the  last  ex- 
tremity, which  he  did  with  so  much  bravery  and  resolution, 
that  there  was  no  occasion  to  break  down  the  said  bridge; 
and  on  the  Friday  following  the  king  ordered  that  two  bun-. 

VOL.  II.  Y 


822  THE    SCANDALOUS    CHRONICLE.  [1465. 

dred  lanccc,  under  the  command  of  the  Bastard  d'Armagnac, 
Count  de  Comminges,  the  Sieur  Giles  de  Symon,  bailiff  of 
Senlis,  the  Sieur  de  la  Barde,  and  Charles  des  Mares,  should 
stay  at  Paris ;  and  on  the  same  day,  at  the  desire  and  request 
of  the  Mayor  of  Paris  and  some  churchmen,  his  majesty  con- 
tinued M.  Charles  de  Melun  in  his  former  post  of  lieutenant 
of  the  city. 

After  the  battle  of  MontPHery,  the  lords  and  princes  that 
were  engaged  in  the  confederacy  against  the  king  retired  to 
Etampes,  where  they  stayed  for  the  space  of  fifteen  days, 
and  upon  their  breaking  up  from  thence,  they  marched 
towards  St.  Mathurin  de  l'Archant,  Moret  in  Gastinois, 
Provins,  and  the  neighbourhood  of  those  countries ;  upon 
which  the  king,  having  intelligence  of  their  motions,  throws 
small  bodies  of  forces  with  some  cannon  into  Melun,  Mon- 
tereau,  Sens,  and  other  neighbouring  towns,  to  reinforce  the 
garrisons,  and  make  frequent  sallies  whenever  they  had  an 
opportunity  of  falling  upon  the  enemy. 

On  Saturday,  the  3rd  of  August,  1465,  the  king,  being 
willing  to  oblige  his  good  city  of  Paris  by  some  singular 
act  of  grace  and  favour,  changed  the  tax  of  the  fourth 
penny  on  retailed  wines  to  that  of  the  eighth,  and  granted 
to  all  the  inhabitants  the  same  privileges  they  enjoyed  in  the 
reign  of  his  father  Charles  VII.  He  also  took  off  all  the 
taxes  that  had  formerly  been  levied  in  the  city,  except  those 
on  wood,  cattle,  and  cloth,  sold  by  wholesale,  which  were  let 
out  to  the  farmers  of  the  revenue ;  and  on  the  same  day  it 
was  proclaimed  by  sound  of  trumpet  in  all  the  public  streets 
oi'  Paris,  by  Denis  Hesselin,  chief  collector  of  the  subsi- 
dies ;  upon  the  news  of  which  the  common  people  were  so 
overjoyed,  that  they  flocked  together  from  all  parts  of  the 
city,  and  filled  the  streets  with  bonfires  and  acclamations 
of  joy. 

About  this  time  the  Bretons  and  Burgundians  passed  the 
Seine  and  the  Yonne  upon  a  bridge  of  boats,  which  were 
brought  from  Moret  in  Gastinois  and  other  places.  M. 
Salezart,  with  a  brigade  of  Marshal  Joachim's  regiment,  had 
posted  himself  on  the  other  side  to  dispute  the  passage  with 
them ;  but  finding  himself  too  weak,  and  having  no  cannon 
(of  which  the  enemy  had  great  store),  he  thought  fit  to  re- 
tire upon  their  approach.     The  Burgundians,  to  favour  the 


1465.]  THE    SCANDALOUS    CHRONICLE.  323 

passage  of  th^ir  troops,  cannonaded  the  enemy  all  the 
while,  and  killed  abundance  of  the  king's  men  ;  at  last  a 
random  shot  took  off  a  page's  arm,  struck  a  gentleman  named 
Pamabel,  a  relation  of  Marshal  Joachim's,  in  the  belly,  and 
killed  three  soldiers  afterwards. 

On  Thursday,  the  8th  of  August,  the  Lord  de  Pretigny, 
one  of  the  king's  counsellors,  and  president  of  the  exchequer, 
and  Chrisstofle  Paillart,  a  counsellor,  also  of  the  same  court, 
arrived  at  Paris  with  an  answer  to  some  letters  that  the  king 
had  sent  by  them  to  the  Duke  of  Calabria,  who  was  then  in 
Auxerrois ;  and  on  Saturday  the  10th  of  the  same  month, 
the  king  set  out  from  Paris  in  order  to  visit  Rouen,  Evreux, 
and  several  other  places  in  Normandy,  and  lay  that  night  at 
Pontoise ;  but  before  he  left  Paris,  he  ordered  several  com- 
panies of  Frank  archers  that  were  newly  arrived  from  Nor- 
mandy, and  ahout  four  hundred  lances  drawn  out  of  the 
regiments  of  the  late  Floquet,  of  the  Boulonnois,  of  the  late 
Jeffery  de  St.  Bel  in,  of  the  Lord  de  Craon,  and  the  Lord  de 
la  Barde,  to  remain  in  garrison  for  the  defence  of  the  city. 

About  this  time  M.  John  Berard,  counsellor  of  the  court 
of  Parliament,  went  over  to  the  Duke  of  Berry,  who  was 
then  in  Bretagne,  being  highly  disgusted  at  his  wife's  being 
committed  to  prison,  and  afterwards  banished  the  city  for 
holding  correspondence  with  the  said  duke  and  the  rest  of 
the  princes,  who  were  the  king's  open  and  professed  enemies. 

About  this  time  M.  Charles  de  Melun,  who  had  hitherto 
been  the  king's  lieutenant  in  Paris,  resigned  his  place,  which 
was  immediately  given  to  the  Count  d'Eu  ;  but  the  king,  in 
consideration  of  the  many  services  M.  Charles  de  Melun  had 
done,  made  him  steward  of  his  household,  and  gave  him  the 
government  of  the  bailiwick  and  towns  of  Evreux  and 
Honfleur. 

About  this  time  also  a  party  of  Burgundians  and  Bretons, 
who  had  been  refreshing  themselves  in  the  town  of  Provins, 
returned  to  Laigny  upon  the  Marne,  and  the  Friday  follow- 
ing they  came  and  took  up  their  quarters  at  Creteil,  a  house 
upon  the  Seine,  Sheelle,  Saincte,  Bapteur,  and  several  other 
places  in  that  neighbourhood.  And  because  the  Parisians  were 
fearful  that  the  Burgundians  would  once  more  invest  Paris, 
there  being  a  report  that  M.  Gerauld,  their  chief  engineer, 
bad  given  out  that  he  designed  to  erect  a  battery  in  the  lay* 

t  a 


524  THE    SCANDALOUS   CHRONICLE.  [1465. 

stall  before  the  gates  of  St.  Denis  and  St.  Anthony,  in  order 
to  bombard  the  town,  and  at  the  same  time  to  make  a  breach 
in  the  walls,  they  caused  an  order  to  be  immediately  pub- 
lished, by  which  every  one  was  obliged  to  repair  the  next 
morning  tc  the  lay-stall  with  a  pick-axe  and  shovel,  to  break 
it  up,  and  render  it  unfit  to  erect  a  battery  on,  and  accord- 
ingly the  order  was  put  in  execution  ;  but  what  they  did 
signified  little  or  nothing,  so  that  they  were  forced  to  build 
a  great  many  sheds,  erect  bulwarks,  and  throw  up  trenches 
to  cover  and  defend  the  city,  as  also  the  soldiers  employed 
in  its  defence. 

On  the  Monday  following,  the  same  party  of  Burgundians 
and  Bretons  that  were  quartered  at  Creteil  and  thereabouts, 
being  joined  by  some  more  forces  of  their  own  country, 
came  to  Pont  de  Charenton,  where  they  erected  a  battery  ; 
and  began  to  play  upon  the  tower  that  defended  it,  upon 
which  the  garrison,  without  making  the  least  opposition, 
retired  to  Paris,  and  the  Burgundians  and  Bretons  took 
possession  of  it,  and  in  the  evening  of  the  same  day  they 
appeared  before  Paris,  in  which  several  of  them  were  taken 
prisoners,  and  two  of  the  Frank  archers  of  Caen  killed.  And 
that  night  a  body  of  Burgundians  and  Bretons,  amounting 
to  about  four  thousand  men,  came  and  encamped  in  a  park 
belonging  to  the  Bois  de  Vincennes.  The  Tuesday  following, 
the  Count  d'Eu  sent  one  M.  de  Rambures  to  the  princes  to 
know  their  intentions,  and  the  next  day  he  returned  to 
Paris,  but  the  answer  they  made  him  was  kept  very  secret ; 
and  the  same  day  the  Burgundians  came  before  Paris,  upon 
which  the  Parisians  made  a  sally,  but  scarce  any  action 
happened  between  them,  only  one  of  the  Frank  archers  of 
Alencon  happened  to  be  killed  by  a  random  shot. 

On  Thursday,  the  22d  of  August,  the  Duke  of  Berry,  who 
had  taken  up  his  head  quarters  at  Beaulce,  with  several 
other  princes  near  allied  to  him,  sent  his  heralds  with  four 
letters  to  Paris,  one  to  the  citizens,  one  to  the  university, 
and  one  to  the  ecclesiastics,  and  one  to  the  court  of  par- 
liament. The  contents  of  which  were,  in  short,  that  he  and 
the  rest  of  the  princes  engaged  in  the  same  confederacy  had 
taken  up  arms  for  the  public  good  of  the  kingdom,  and  that 
if  they  would  make  choice  of  five  or  six  able  men  in  the 
character  of  commissioners  to  treat  and  confer  with  them, 


1465   1  THE    SCANDALOUS   CHKONICLE.  325 

he  would  let  them  know  the  reasons  that  had  induced  him 
and  the  rest  of  the  princes  to  appear  in  this  open  and 
hostile  manner.  Accordingly,  in  pursuance  of  these  letters, 
the  following  commissioners  were  deputed  to  wait  on  the 
princes  to  hear  what  they  had  to  propose.  On  the  part  of 
the  city  were  chosen  M.  John  Choart,  the  civil  lieutenant 
of  the  Chastellet  of  Paris,  M.  Francis  Hasle,  advocate  in 
parliament,  and  Arnold  Lullier,  banker  at  Paris.  The  church 
of  Paris  made  choice  of  M.  Thomas  de  Courcelles,  Dean  of 
Paris,  M.  John  de  Lolive,  doctor  of  divinity,  and  M.  Eustace 
Lullier,  advocate  in  parliament.  For  the  court  of  par- 
liament were  chosen  M.  John  de  Boulenger,  M.  John  de 
Sellier,  Archdeacon  of  Brie,  and  M.  James  Founder.  And 
by  the  university  for  the  sciences  in  general  were  chosen 
M.  James  Minglisant,  for  divinity,  M.  John  Lullier,  for  the 
law,  M.  John  Montigny,  and  for  physic,  M.  Auerant  de  Pa- 
renti ;  and  all  these  commissioners  were  introduced  and 
presented  to  the  princes  by  William  Chartier,  Bishop  of 
Paris. 

On  Saturday  following,  all  the  above  mentioned  com- 
missioners sat  in  the  Hotel  de  Ville,  where  several  persons  of 
quality  and  distinction  were  assembled  on  purpose  to  hear 
what  proposals  the  princes  had  made  them,  but  they  came 
to  no  manner  of  conclusion  that  morning  ;  however,  it  was 
agreed  that  in  the  afternoon  the  whole  body  of  the  uni- 
versity, church,  court  of  parliament,  and  the  chief  magis- 
trates, should  meet  together,  to  take  into  consideration  what 
the  princes  had  proposed  to  the  commissioners.  At  this 
meeting,  after  some  debate,  they  unanimously  agreed,  that 
the  calling  an  assembly  of  the  three  estates  of  the  kingdom, 
which  was  the  chief  thing  the  princes  insisted  on,  was 
highly  just  and  reasonable  ;  that  they  would  consent  to 
supply  their  army  witli  provisions  for  money,  and  that  they 
should  have  free  admittance  into  Paris,  provided  they 
could  give  them  security  that  neither  they  nor  their  soldiers 
would  commit  any  act  of  hostility  within  the  town  to  the 
prejudice  of  the  inhabitants;  and  the  king  consented  to  it. 
After  which  the  commissioners  went  a  second  time  to  wait 
on  the  princes,  and  acquaint  them  with  their  final  resolution. 
During  the  whole  time  that  this  assembly  were  sitting  in 
council,  all  the  cross-bow  men  and  archers  were  drawn  up 

V  s 


326  THE    SCANDAIOUS    CHRONICLE.  [146.5. 

before  the  Hotel  de  Ville,  to  hinder  the  mob  from  crowding 
and  disturbing  them,  as  they  would  certainly  have  done, 
had  they  not  been  prevented  by  this  means. 

On  the  same  day  there  was  a  review  made  of  all  the 
ting's  forces  in  Paris,  which  made  a  very  fine  appearance. 
First  of  all  marched  the  archers  of  Normandy  on  foot ; 
these  were  followed  by  the  archers  on  horseback ;  and  last 
of  all  came  the  men-at-arms  belonging  to  the  companies  of 
the  Count  d'Eu,  the  Lord  de  Craon,  the  Lord  de  la  Barde, 
and  the  Bastard  of  Maine,  which  might  make  in  all  about  five 
hundred  men,  well  armed  and  mounted,  without  reckoning 
the  foot,  which  were  about  one  thousand  five  hundred,  or 
more.  And  on  the  same  day  the  king  wrote  letters  to 
Paris,  by  which  he  acquainted  the  inhabitants  of  his  being 
at  Chartres  with  his  uncle  the  Duke  du  Maine,  and  abundance 
of  soldiers  with  him,  and  of  his  resolution  of  coming  to 
Paris  on  the  Tuesday  following.  In  the  afternoon  the 
Admiral  de  Montauban  arrived  at  Paris  with  a  good  body 
of  troops,  and  towards  the  evening  the  Duke  of  Berry  broke 
up  from  Beauke,  and  marched  towards  St. Denis;  but  being 
told  by  some  of  his  officers  that  were  with  him  that  Beaulce 
was  a  much  safer  place  for  him  to  be  in  than  St.  Denis, 
which  lay  too  near  the  enemy,  and  upon  hearing  the  news 
of  the  king's  coming  to  Paris,  he  marched  back  to  his  old 
quarters. 

On  the  Wednesday  following  the  king  came  to  Paris,  at- 
tended by  his  uncle  the  Duke  du  Maine,  the  Lord  de  Pan- 
theure,  and  several  other  officers  of  note;  he  also  brought 
back  the  fine  train  of  artillery  he  carried  with  him,  and 
a  great  number  of  pioneers  from  Normandy,  who  were  all 
quartered  in  his  Hotel  de  St.  Paul.  And  when  the  king 
made  his  entry  into  Paris,  he  was  received  with  the  uni- 
versal shouts  and  acclamations  of  the  people  ;  and  the  next 
day,  very  early  in  the  morning,  the  Burgundians  and  the 
Bretons,  planting  themselves  over  against  the  tower  of  Billy, 
saluted  him  with  a  triple  discharge  of  their  cannon,  ac- 
companied with  drums,  trumpets,  clarions,  and  other  war- 
like instruments  of  music.  The  same  thing  they  did  also 
over  against  the  bastille  St.  Anthoine,  shouting  and  huzzaing, 
and  crying  out,  "To  arms,  to  arms!"  which  put  the  whole 
city   into  a  dreadful  consternation,   and  immediately   they 


.465.]  THE    SCANDALOUS    CHRONICLE.  327 

mounted  the  walls,  and  prepared  all  things  for  a  vigorous 
defence.  In  the  afternoon  the  Burgundians  and  Bretons 
appeared  again  before  Paris,  upon  which  a  considerable  body 
of  the  kind's  regular  forces,  with  some  cannon  and  field- 
pieces,  were  immediately  ordered  to  march  out  of  Paris  to 
beat  off  the  enemy,  who,  falling  in  with  a  party  of  them, 
killed  and  took  several  prisoners  that  day. 

On  Saturday,  the  last  of  August,  the  king  went  with  a 
strong  guard  as  far  as  the  tower  of  Billy,  to  take  a  view  of 
the  enemy,  and  commanded  the  four  hundred  pioneers  that 
came  from  Normandy  to  cross  the  Seine,  and  throw  up  a 
trench  over  against  the  English  port,  and  before  the  H6tel 
de  Conflans,  which  was  directly  opposite  to  the  place  where 
the  Burgundians  were  posted,  quite  down  to  the  river  Seine. 
And  because  the  Burgundians  had  given  out  that  they  de- 
signed to  pass  that  river,  the  king  ordered  a  good  body  of 
troops  to  be  posted  there,  to  hinder  them  from  laying  a 
bridge  over  it,  and  to  dispute  the  passage  with  them ;  and 
as  soon  as  the  pioneers  had  passed  the  river,  the  king  passed 
it  also  in  a  ferry-boat  without  alighting  from  his  horse. 

On  Sunday,  the  first  of  September,  the  Burgundians  laid 
a  bridge  over  the  Seine  at  the  English  port;  and  just  as  they 
were  preparing  to  pass  it,  a  great  number  of  Frank  archers, 
and  other  soldiers  of  the  king's  party,  arrived  there,  who, 
immediately  planting  some  cannon  and  field-pieces  at  the 
end  of  the  bridge,  fired  briskly  on  the  Burgundians,  and 
obliged  them  to  retire,  with  the  loss  of  several  men  killed  and 
wounded  ;  and  a  certain  Norman  swam  across  the  river, 
and  cutting  the  ropes  with  which  the  bridge  was  fastened, 
it  went  cleverly  down  the  stream.  Abundance  of  cannon 
was  fired  that  day  from  several  batteries  that  the  Bur- 
gundians had  erected,  but  from  one  especially,  which  played 
so  briskly  on  the  king's  troops  that  were  posted  at  the  En- 
glish port,  that  they  were  forced  to  retire. 

And  on  the  Tuesday  following,  ambassadors  were  chosen 
by  the  king  and  the  Burgundians,  in  order  to  adjust  the 
difference  between  them.  On  the  king's  side  were  chosen 
the  Duke  du  Maine,  M.  de  Pretigny,  president  of  the  ex- 
chequer, and  M.  John  Dauvet,  president  of  the  parliament 
of  Toulouse;  and  the  Burgundians  chose  the  Duke  of  Ca- 
labria, the  Count  de  St.  Paul,  and  the  Count  de  Dunois.    And 

Y  4 


828  THE    SCANDALOUS    CHRONICLE.  [1465. 

as  soon  as  they  were  nominated,  and  had  received  their  in- 
structions, they  went  immediately  upon  the  business  of  ac- 
commodation ;  and  there  was  a  truce  granted  till  the  Thursday 
following,  during  which  no  acts  of  hostility  were  committed 
on  either  side  ;  but  both  parties  took  care,  in  the  mean  time, 
to  fortify  themselves,  and  make  what  preparations  they  could, 
not  knowing  how  matters  might  happen. 

On  Monday,  the  ninth  of  September,  the  Bretons  and 
Burgundians  marched  into  the  territories  of  Clignancourt, 
Montmartre,  La  Courtille,  and  other  vineyards  about  Paris, 
where  they  spoiled  and  destroyed  the  whole  vintage,  cutting 
down  all  the  grapes,  green  as  they  were,  to  make  wine  for 
present  drinking;  upon  which  the  Parisians  were  forced 
to  do  the  same  with  all  their  vineyards  round  Paris  that 
had  escaped  their  fury,  though  the  grapes  were  scarce  half 
ripe,  and  it  was  not  the  usual  season  for  their  vintage  ; 
besides,  it  was  the  worst  year  for  vines  that  had  been  known 
in  France  for  many  years ;  so  that  they  called  the  wine  of 
this  year's  growth  by  the  name  of  Burgundy. 

About  this  time  several  of  the  nobility  of  Normandy 
arrived  at  Paris  to  serve  the  king  in  his  wars,  all  which 
had  their  quarters  assigned  them  in  the  Faubourg  de  St. 
Marcel,  amongst  whose  retinue  there  were  some  particular 
persons  that  committed  great  thefts  and  disorders,  two  of 
whom  were  seized  by  some  of  the  citizens  as  they  were 
forcing  their  way  into  the  city  ;  and  upon  the  citizens  stop- 
ping them,  the  Normans  began  to  abuse  and  rail  at  the  citi- 
zens, calling  them  traitors  and  rebellious  Burgundians, 
vowing  to  be  revenged  of  them,  and  telling  them  that  they 
came  from  Normandy  with  no  other  design  but  to  plunder 
and  destroy  the  whole  city.  Of  which  words  a  complaint 
being  made,  and  an  information  given  by  the  said  citizens 
to  the  mayor  of  Paris,  the  principal  offender,  who  spoke 
these  dangerous  words,  was  condemned  to  the  ignominious 
punishment  of  walking  barefoot  and  bareheaded,  with  a 
lighted  torch  in  his  hand,  through  the  streets,  and  in  the 
public  market-place  before  the  Hotel  de  Ville,  in  this  shameful 
condition,  to  acknowledge  his  offence  before  the  town-clerk, 
and  to  ask  the  good  citizens  of  Paris  pardon  and  forgiveness 
for  what  he  had  falsely  and  maliciously  spoken,  and  after- 
wards to  be  bored  through  the  tongue,  and  banished  the  city. 


1 465. J  THE    SCANDALOUS    CHRONICLE.  329 

On  the  Monday  following,  theBurgundians  came  and  showed 
themselves  before  Paris,  amongst  whom  was  the  Count  de 
St.  Paul,  to  meet  whom  the  king  went  out  of  Paris,  and 
they  had  a  conference  together,  which  lasted  two  hours  ;  and 
as  a  surety  for  the  Count's  safe  return,  the  king  delivered 
up  the  Count  du  Maine,  who  siaid  in  the  Burgundians' 
army  till  the  return  of  the  said  Count  de  St.  Paul. 

And  on  the  same  day  a  great  council  was  held  in  the  ex- 
chequer-chamber, at  which,  amongst  the  other  officers  and 
magistrates  of  that  court,  the  sixteen  quarteniers*,  the  cin- 
quanteniersf,  and  some  of  the  councillors  belonging  to  the 
court  of  parliament,  were  present  ;  to  whom,  by  the  king's 
order,  Morvillier,  chancellor  of  France,  made  a  speech,  in 
which  he  acquainted  them  how  honourably  his  majesty  had 
acquitted  himself  towards  the  princes,  and  what  generous 
offers  he  had  made  them  upon  their  demanding  the  duchy 
of  Guienne,  Poitou,  with  the  country  of  Saintonge,  or  the 
duchy  of  Normandy,  as  an  appanage  for  the  Duke  of  Berry. 
He  farther  told  them  that  the  king's  council,  who  were 
there  present,  had  informed  the  princes  that  it  was  not  in 
his  majesty's  power  to  give  away  or  dismember  anything 
belonging  to  the  crown  ;  and  that  since  he  was  pleased  to 
offer  the  countries  of  Champagne  and  Brie,  reserving  only 
to  himself  Meaux,  Montereau,  and  Melun,  in  lieu  of  the 
said  appanage,  they  were  of  opinion  that  the  Duke  of  Berry 
ought  not  in  reason  and  honour  to  refuse  it.  After  this  the 
assembly  broke  up,  and  (all  hopes  of  an  accommodation  being 
vanished)  the  young  seneschal  of  Normandy  was  ordered 
out  with  six  hundred  horse  to  skirmish  with  the  Bretons 
and  Burgundians,  who  were  drawn  up  in  order  of  battle  on 
the  other  side  of  the  Seine,  and,  firing  upon  them,  killed  a 
gentleman  of  Poitou  belonging  to  M.  Punthieu's  regiment, 
called  John  Canreau,  Lord  de  Pampelie. 

On  the  Saturday  following,  at  break  of  day,  one  Lewis 
Sorbier,  whom  Marshal  Joachim  Rouault  had  left  in  Pon- 
toise  as  his  lieutenant,  basely  and  treacherously  betrayed 
his  trust,  and  suffered  the  Bretons  and  other  troops  belong' 

*  Civil  officers,  having  the  same  power  and  authority  in  Paris  aa 
an  alilerman  has  in  London,  there  being  one  to  every  ward. 

f  Certain  officers  or  magistrates  in  Paris,  somewhat  like  our  aider* 
men's  dupuucB  iu  London. 


330  THE    SCANDALOUS   CHRONICLE.  [1465 

ing  to  the  enemy  to  possess  themselves  of  the  town,  having 
agreed  with  them  beforehand,  that  whoever  of  the  Marshal 
Joachim's  regiment  refused  to  enter  into  their  service,  should 
have  the  liberty  of  marching  out  with  their  bag  and  bag- 
gage, without  being  examined  or  molested.  And  as  soon  as 
he  had  delivered  up  Pontoise  into  the  enemy's  hands,  he 
marched  with  some  of  his  confederates  to  Meulan,  where, 
not  believing  that  his  treason  was  already  known,  he  thought 
that,  by  showing  Marshal  Joachim's  colours,  he  would  get  an 
easy  admittance  ;  but  upon  his  arrival  at  the  gates,  the  in- 
habitants of  Meulan,  who  had  been  informed  of  his  trea- 
chery, and  were  in  arms  upon  the  walls,  cried  out,  "  Get  you 
gone,  vile  and  despicable  traitor,"  and  fired  their  cannon 
upon  him  and  his  party,  which  obliged  him  to  retire  with 
the  utmost  shame  and  confusion  to  Pontoise ;  and  on  Sun- 
day, by  break  of  day,  the  enemy  came  and  gave  the  city  an 
alarm  on  the  side  of  St.  Anthony's  gate,  and  a  great  body  of 
them  penetrated  as  far  as  St.  Anthoine  des  Champs  ;  and 
in  order  to  dislodge  them,  several  cannon,  field-pieces,  and 
culverins  were  fired,  but  there  were  no  sallies  made. 

About  this  time  the  Bretons  and  Burgundians  who  lay 
before  Paris  made  songs,  ballads,  lampoons,  and  other  scan- 
dalous verses,  on  some  of  the  chief  officers  of  the  court,  which 
set  the  king  so  against  them,  that  he  turned  them  out  of 
their  places.  Neither  did  the  king's  own  soldiers,  who  were 
quartered  in  Paris,  behave  themselves  much  better,  but 
spent  their  time  in  all  manner  of  lewdness,  debauching  and 
seducing  the  hearts  of  several  wives,  maids,  and  widows, 
who  left  their  children,  husbands,  and  places  to  follow  and 
live  with  them. 

In  the  evening,  M.  Balue,  Bishop  of  Evreux,  was  set 
upon  by  some  people  that  owed  him  a  spite,  in  the  Rue  de 
la  Bane  du  Bee,  who  at  the  first  stroke  beat  the  two  torches 
that  were  carried  before  him  out  of  the  servants'  hands,  and 
afterwards  they  came  up  to  the  bishop,  who,  being  mounted 
on  a  stout  mule,  carried  him  off  cleverly  to  his  own  hotel  in 
the  cloister  of  Nostre-Dame ;  by  which  means  he  saved  his 
life,  for  his  servants,  who  were  afraid  of  being  knocked  down, 
had  quite  forsaken  him  ;  however,  before  he  made  his  escape 
he  received  two  wounds,  one  in  his  hand,  and  another  in  one 
of  his  fingers.     The  king  was  extremely  concerned  at  this 


1465.]  THK    SCANDALOUS    CHRONICLE.  331 

accident,  and  ordered  a  strict  inquiry  to  be  made  after  the 
assassins  ;    but  they  were  never  discovered. 

On  the  Thursday  following,  there  was  a  great  complaint 
made  in  the  Hotel  de  Ville  by  some  of  the  citizens  against  the 
soldiers  for  having  spoken  and  published  certain  words  and 
speeches  of  a  dangerous  consequence  to  the  inhabitants. 
Among  other  tilings,  they  boldly  affirmed  that  neither  the 
city  of  Paris  nor  anything  in  it  belonged  to  the  inhabitants, 
but  to  them  who  were  quartered  in  it ;  that  they  would  have 
the  citizens  know  that  the  keys  of  their  houses  were  at  the 
soldiers'  disposal ;  that  they  would  turn  out  the  present  posses- 
sors, and  live  in  them  themselves;  and,  in  short,  if  the  citizens 
pretended  to  make  resistance,  they  should  find,  to  their  sor- 
row, they  were  able  to  conquer  them.  And  the  very  same 
day  a  foolish  Norman  said  openly  at  St.  Denis's  gate  that  the 
Parisians  were  very  weak  to  think  that  chaining  up  their 
streets  would  signify  anything  against  the  forces  of  their 
country.  A  report  of  these  dangerous  and  insolent  words 
being  made  to  some  of  the  officers  of  the  Hotel  de  Ville,  they 
immediately  issued  out  an  order  commanding  several  streets 
to  be  chained  up,  and  that  every  quartenier  of  Paris  should 
cause  great  tires  to  be  made  in  every  ward  under  his  juris- 
diction, and  that  one  of  them  should  be  in  arms  upon  the 
watch  before  the  Hotel  de  Ville  all  night,  which  was  accord- 
ingly done.  And  that  very  night  there  was  a  hot  report 
that  the  gate  of  the  Bastille  St.  Anthoine  was  left  open  on 
purpose  to  let  the  Bretons  and  the  Burgundians  into  the 
town;  and,  to  confirm  it  the  more,  several  cannon  were  found 
nailed  up,  and  rendered  unfit  for  service. 

On  the  Friday  following,  two  pursuivants-at-arms  arrived 
at  Paris ;  one  was  despatched  from  Gisors  to  acquaint 
the  king  of  the  weak  condition  of  that  place,  which  was 
wholly  unprovided  with  everything  necessary  for  its  defence, 
and  to  let  his  majesty  know  that  if  he  did  not  send  them  a 
speedy  supply  of  men,  arms,  ammunition,  and  provision,  they 
must  be  forced  to  surrender  to  a  body  of  six  hundred  horse 
that  lay  before  the  town.  The  other  pursuivant  was  sent 
by  one  Hugh  des  Vignes,  a  man-at-arms  belonging  to  M.  de 
la  Barde's  regiment,  and  who  at  that  time  was  at  Meulan, 
to  inform  the  king  that  he  was  assured  from  very  good 
hands  that  the  Bretons  had  a  design  of  surprising  Rouen  as 


332  THE   SCANDALOUS   CHRONICLE.  [1465k 

they  did  Pontoise.  if  they  were  not  prevented.  And  on 
the  same  day  the  ambassadors  that  were  chosen  on  both 
sides  dined  together  at  St.  Anthoine  des  Champs  without 
Paris;  and  on  the  next  day  the  same  ambassadors  on  both 
sides  were  assembled  again,  but  in  two  distinct  parties,  that 
is  to  say,  the  Duke  du  Maine  and  those  of  his  party,  who 
were  for  the  king,  with  the  rest  of  the  lords  and  princes, 
were  all  of  them  together  at  the  Grange-aux-Merciers. 
There  were  also  several  others  nominated  by  the  king,  who 
were  at  St.  Anthoine  des  Champs ;  but  notwithstanding 
this  meeting,  very  little  business  was  despatched  this  day. 

In  the  afternoon  the  king  received  letters  from  the  widow 
of  the  late  Peter  de  Breze,  by  which  she  informed  his  ma- 
jesty of  her  having  caused  the  Lord  Broquemont,  captain  of 
the  palace  at  Rouen,  to  be  apprehended  upon  suspicion  of  not 
being  well  affected  to  his  government,  and  having  a  design 
to  deliver  it  up  to  the  Bretons  ;  but  that  he  need  not  give 
himself  the  least  pain  about  Rouen,  for  he  would  certainly 
find  all  the  citizens  hearty  and  true  to  his  interest.  The 
same  day,  in  the  afternoon,  arrived  the  unwelcome  news  of 
the  taking  of  Rouen  by  the  Duke  of  Bourbon,  who  entered 
the  town  by  the  castle  of  Rouen,  which  was  the  weakest  side, 
and  lay  towards  the  fields. 

As  soon  as  the  princes  that  lay  before  Paris  heard  of  the 
taking  of  Rouen,  they  sent  to  acquaint  the  king  that  his 
brother,  the  Duke  of  Berry,  who  was  before  contented  with 
Champagne  and  Brie,  would  accept  of  no  other  appanage 
than  the  duchy  of  Normandy  ;  so  that  the  king  was  forced, 
notwithstanding  the  former  agreement,  to  give  the  Duke  of 
Berry  the  duchy  of  Normandy,  and  reserve  for  himself  that 
of  Berry.  The  Count  de  Charolois  had  for  his  share  the 
towns  of  Feronne,  Roye,  and  Mondidier,  for  him  and  his 
heirs  for  ever  ;  besides,  the  king  gave  him  during  his  life 
all  the  lands  and  towns  that  were  lately  redeemed  for  four 
hundred  thousand  crowns,  and  had  been  pawned  to  his 
father  Philip,  Duke  of  Burgundy,  to  which  he  added  the 
countries  of  Guynes  and  Boulogne,  to  be  enjoyed  by  him 
and  his  heirs  for  ever.  He  also  gave  to  the  Duke  of  Ca- 
labria a  great  sum  of  money,  and  lent  him  a  certain  number 
of  troops,  which  were  to  be  paid  by  the  king,  and  to  be  em- 
ployed wherever  the  Duke  of  Calabria  thought  fit.      Tha 


1465.]  TUB    SCANDALOUS   CHRONICLE.  333 

Duke  of  Bourbon  was  to  have  the  same  pension,  and  the 
same  quota  of  troops  allowed  him  that  he  formerly  had  in 
the  reign  of  the  late  King  Charles,  besides  the  remainder  of 
his  wife's  marriage  dower,  which  was  left  unpaid;  and  this 
was  all  he  demanded.  The  Count  de  St.  Paul  was  restored 
to  all  his  places  that  had  been  taken  from  him  during  this 
unhappy  rupture  between  the  king  and  the  princes,  and  a 
considerable  pension  settled  upon  him  for  life.  The  Count 
de  Dammartin  was  also  restored  to  all  his  lands  and  pos- 
sessions that  were  confiscated  by  a  decree  in  Parliament,  and 
had  considerable  presents  made  him  by  the  king.  As  for 
the  other  lords,  they  had  every  one  of  them  a  large  share, 
and  departed  well  satisfied  with  what  they  had  got. 

And  on  Tuesday,  the  1st  of  October,  a  peace  was  pro- 
claimed between  the  king  and  the  princes,  and  that  day 
the  Count  de  St.  Paul  came  to  Paris,  and,  having  dined  with 
the  king,  was  conducted  into  the  Hotel  deVille,  where  he  was 
created  Constable  of  France,  and  took  the  oaths  accordingly. 
And  on  the  same  day  the  king  ordered  a  proclamation  to  be 
issued  out,  by  which  free  leave  was  granted  to  all  the  inha- 
bitants to  supply  and  furnish  the  Bretons  and  Bur«undians 
with  whatever  necessaries  they  wanted  ;  upon  which  procla- 
mation several  merchants  of  Paris  immediately  sent  a  great 
quantity  of  all  sorts  of  provision  into  the  fields  before  St. 
Anthony's  gate,  which  was  quickly  bought  up,  especially 
the  wine  and  the  bread,  by  the  whole  army,  who  instantly 
repaired  thither  half  starved,  and  in  a  miserable  condition, 
with  their  thin,  lank  cheeks  over-grown  with  hair,  and  full 
of  lice  and  nastiness,  and  the  greatest  part  of  them  with- 
out stockings  or  shoes.  But  every  one  will  be  amazed  at 
the  inconceivable  strength  and  richness  of  Paris,  which  was 
able  to  maintain  four  hundred  thousand  horse,  including  the 
Burgundians,  Bretons,  Calabrians,  Picardians,  and  the  rest 
of  the  enemy's  forces  for  a  long  time,  and  plentifully  to 
supply  them,  without  ever  raising  the  price  of  any  manner 
of  provision  ;  nay,  immediately  after  the  enemy  had  left 
it,  things  were  sold  cheaper  than  they  were  before  ;  and 
the  whole  Thursday  following  was  spent  in  victualling  the 
Burgundian  camp.  The  same  day  the  king  wrent  to  make 
a  private  visit  to  the  Count  de  Charolois  near  Conflans, 
which  was  looked  upon  by  all  persona  that  hud  a  respect 


334  THE    SCANDALOUS    CHKONICLK.  ^1465 

and  concern  for  his  majesty,  as  a  very  indiscreet  action ; 
nay,  the  very  Picardians  themselves  and  the  rest  of  the 
army  could  not  forbear  reflecting  upon  him,  and  breaking 
their  jests  upon  the  Parisians  after  this  manner:  "  Here,  take 
your  king,  who  has  at  last  submitted  to  the  Count  de  Charo- 
lois, and  meanly  condescended  to  visit  him  in  private  ;  in 
a  little  time  we  shall  have  him  at  our  command." 

On  Friday,  the  fourth  of  the  same  month,  the  king  gave 
orders  for  the  admittance  of  the  Burgundians  into  the  city 
through  St.  Anthony's  gate,  who,  upon  that  permission, 
came  in  large  bodies,  and  committed  several  riots  and 
disorders,  which  certainly  they  would  never  have  done 
had  they  not  been  encouraged  by  the  king's  late  condescen- 
sion in  visiting  the  Count  de  Charolois  in  so  private  a 
manner. 

On  the  Sunday  following  several  men  of  quality  and 
officers  of  the  army  came  and  supped  with  the  king  at  Paris 
in  an  hotel  belonging  to  M.  John  Lullier,  the  town-clerk,  at 
which  entertainment  several  ladies  of  quality  and  distinction 
were  also  present. 

And  in  this  month  of  October  a  detachment  of  the  Count 
de  Charolois's  troops  came  before  Beauvais,  and  summoned 
the  town  to  surrender ;  upon  which  the  inhabitants  set 
down  the  summons  in  writing,  and  sent  it  to  the  king,  who 
immediately  sent  it  to  the  Count  de  Charolois,  with  whom 
he  had  lately  concluded  a  peace.  The  Count  de  Charolois 
sent  back  word  to  the  king  that  he  knew  nothing  of  the 
summons ;  and  that  whosoever  had  done  it,  did  it  without 
his  knowledge  or  order.  The  king  returned  a  very  civil 
answer  to  the  Count  de  Charolois,  and  told  him  it  was  not 
a  fair  way  of  proceeding;  that  for  the  future,  in  pursuance 
of  the  articles  of  peace  that  had  been  lately  concluded  between 
them,  he  must  forbear  committing  such  acts  of  hostility ; 
and  that  if  he  had  a  mind  to  Beauvais,  he  should  have  it. 

On  the  Thursday  following,  several  waggon-loads  of  gold 
and  silver,  for  the  payment  of  the  Count  de  Charolois's 
troops,  arrived  in  the  Burgundian  camp,  under  a  strong 
convoy  both  of  horse  and  foot,  commanded  by  the  Lord  de 
Saveuses ;  and  on  the  same  day  the  Duke  of  Bretagne  and 
the  king  came  to  an  agreement  in  relation  to  the  affair  that 
was  between  them,  by  which  compact  the  king  was  obliged 


i465.j  THE    SCANDALOUS   CHRONICLE.  o'-ii 

to  restore  the  county  of  Montfort  and  several  others ;  be- 
sides a  vast  sum  of  money  to  pay  that  very  army  which  he, 
in  conjunction  with  the  rest  of  the  princes,  had  raised  to 
invade  the  king's  dominions.  The  next  day  M.  John  le 
Boulenger,  president  of  the  court  of  parliament,  was  sent  by 
the  king's  order  to  the  Hotel  de  Ville  to  acquaint  the  mayor 
and  aldermen  of  Paris  that  the  Burgundians  had  a  design 
to  review  their  army  that  day  before  the  city  gates,  and  to 
desire  them  to  acquaint  the  common  people  with  it,  lest 
they  should  be  surprised  and  astonished  to  see  them  thus 
drawn  up  against  the  town.  But  after  all,  the  review  was 
not  made  in  sight  of  Paris  that  day,  but  from  the  Pont  de  Cha- 
renton  to  the  Bois  de  Vincennes,  whither  the  king,  attended 
only  by  the  Count  de  Charolois,  the  Duke  of  Calabria,  and 
the  Count  de  St.  Paul,  very  imprudently  went  to  see  the 
review.  As  soon  as  the  review  was  over,  the  king  came 
back  by  water  to  Paris;  and  the  Count  de  Charolois,  upon 
his  taking  leave  of  his  majesty,  in  the  presence  of  those 
lords  that  attended  the  king  thither,  made  the  following 
acknowledgment  in  these  words  :  —  "  My  lords,  you  and  I  are 
subjects  to  the  king  here  present,  our  lord  and  sovereign,  and 
ought  to  serve  him  whenever  he  pleases  to  command  us." 

Not  long  before  this,  the  king  had  received  a  private  in- 
formation of  a  design  formed  by  some  of  his  enemies  either 
to  kill  him  or  seize  upon  his  person ;  upon  which  he  imme- 
diately ordered  his  guards  to  be  doubled,  great  fires  to  be 
made  every  night  in  the  streets,  the  number  of  the  watch  to 
be  augmented,  as  well  upon  the  walls  as  in  the  streets,  and 
took  all  the  care  imaginable  to  prevent  their  designs  and 
secure  his  own  person  ;  and  upon  hearing  of  the  surrender 
of  Caen  and  several  other  towns  in  Normandy,  he  imme- 
diately reinforced  the  garrison  of  Mantes  with  a  considerable 
body  of  men-at-arms  and  Frank  archers. 

On  Tuesday,  the  22d  of  October,  the  king  made  a  private 
visit  to  the  princes  at  the  Grange-aux-Merciers,  where  all 
but  the  Duke  of  Berry  were  met  together;  and  the  next  day 
the  Duke  of  Bourbon  had  a  long  conference  with  the  king 
in  a  place  without  the  gates  of  Paris,  on  this  side  of  the 
ditch  of  the  Grange  de  Ruilly. 

On  the  Saturday  following,  the  Count  de  Cliarolois,  with 
a  small  detachment,  left  the  army,  having  first  caused  an 


336  THE    SCANDALOUS    CHKONICLE.  [1465. 

order  to  be  published  in  his  camp,  by  which  all  soldicra 
were  obliged,  under  pain  of  death,  to  hold  themselves  in 
readiness  to  march  against  the  Liegeois,  who  with  fire  and 
sword  had  invaded  his  territories.  Sunday,  Monday,  and 
Tuesday  the  Duke  de  Berry  lay  ill  of  a  fever  at  St.  Maur 
des  Fossez;  but  being  pretty  well  recovered  of  his  illness  by 
Wednesday,  the  30th  of  October,  and  able  to  go  abroad,  he 
went  to  wait  upon  the  king  at  the  Bois  de  Vincennes,  where 
he  did  homage  to  him  for  the  Duchy  of  Normandy,  which  the 
king  gave  him  for  his  appanage ;  and  on  the  same  day  the 
articles  of  peace  between  the  king  and  the  princes  were 
read  and  published  in  the  court  of  parliament,  and  ordered 
to  be  registered  in  the  same  court. 

And  on  the  Thursday  following,  the  Duke  of  Berry,  the 
Count  de  Charolois,  and  the  rest  of  the  princes,  separated, 
and  went  different  ways.  The  Duke  of  Berry,  whom  the 
king  waited  on  some  part  of  the  way  to  Pontoise,  went 
into  Normandy  ;  and  afterwards  the  king  and  the  Count  de 
Charolois  retired  to  Villiers  le  Bel,  where  they  stayed  two 
or  three  days,  and  from  thence  the  count  marched  with  all 
speed  through  Picardy  to  make  war  upon  the  Liegeois. 

On  the  Monday  following,  M.  Kobert  Destouteville,  Lord 
of  Beine,  who  was  mayor  of  Paris  in  the  reign  of  the  late 
King  Charles,  and  had  been  displaced  by  the  king  upon  his 
accession  to  the  crown,  was  restored  to  his  former  office, 
which  had  been  given  to  James  de  Villiers,  Lord  of  Lisle 
Adam,  and  that  day  he  sat  in  the  Hotel  de  Ville  as  mayor, 
and  despatched  a  great  deal  of  the  king's  business. 

On  Thursday,  the  7th  of  November,  1465,  M.  Robert  Des- 
touteville was  conducted  to  the  Chastellet  of  Paris  by  M. 
Charles  de  Melun  and  M.  John  Dauvet,  first  president  of 
the  parliament  of  Toulouse,  whom  the  king  had  acquainted 
with  the  said  Robert  Destouteville's  having  taken  the  oath 
already  as  mayor  of  Paris  in  the  room  of  James  de  Villiers, 
whom,  upon  his  first  accession  to  the  crown,  he  had  advanced 
to  that  office.  And  after  the  letters  patent,  by  which  the 
king  appointed  and  constituted  the  said  Robert  Destoute- 
ville mayor  of  Paris,  were  read,  he  was  immediately  put 
into  possession  of  his  office,  without  givirg  the  said  Villiers 
any  time  to  lodge  an  appeal  against  him. 

On  Saturday,  the  9th  of  November,  M.  Peter  Morvillier, 


1465.]  THE    SCANDALOUS    CHKONICLF  33? 

Chancellor  of  France,  resigned  the  seals,  and  was  succeeded 
in  the  chancellorship  by  Juvenal  des  Ursins,  who  was  in  the 
same  post  at  the  death  of  the  late  King  Charles  VII. 

About  this  time  also  the  king  made  several  alterations 
and  promotions  in  his  court;  amongst  the  rest,  he  turned 
M.  Peter  Puy  out  of  his  office  of  Master  of  the  Requests, 
and  gave  it  to  M.  Regnault  des  Dormans. 

After  the  settling  of  this  affair  the  king  went  to  Orleans 
and  took  with  him  Arnold  Lullier,  banker  and  citizen  of 
Paris,  whom  he  commanded  to  attend  him  during  his  stay 
there ;  he  also  carried  along  with  him  M.  John  Longuejoye 
the  younger,  who  was  newly  married  to  Madame  Genevieve, 
daughter  of  M.  John  Baillet,  and  made  him  one  of  his  coun- 
sellors of  state.  Before  he  left  Paris,  he  made  M.  Charles 
d'Orgemont,  Lord  of  Mery,  Treasurer  of  France,  Arnold 
Lullier  Treasurer  of  Carcassonne,  and  M.  Peter  Ferteil 
Comptroller  of  his  Household. 

The  king  during  his  stay  at  Orleans,  made  several  acts, 
laws,  and  ordinances,  turned  out  several  officers  of  the  army, 
and  gave  their  commissions  to  others  ;  amongst  the  rest  he 
took  away  the  command  of  a  hundred  lances  from  Poncet  de 
Riviere,  and  made  him  Bailiff  of  Mont  Ferrant,  upon  which, 
in  disgust,  he  went  beyond  sea,  and  visited  Jerusalem,  and 
the  Holy  Hill  of  St.  Catharine.  Several  other  officers  had 
their  commissions  taken  from  them,  and  given  to  others  that 
did  not  so  well  deserve  them.  The  king  also  restored 
Monsieur  de  Loheac,  Marshal  of  France,  to  all  his  former 
places  in  the  government,  some  of  which  had  been  given  te 
the  Count  de  Comminges,  Bastard  of  Armagnac ;  and  after 
he  had  settled  these  regulations,  he  left  Orleans,  and 
marched  with  his  whole  army  and  artillery  directly  into 
Normandy  towards  Argentan,  Exmes,  Falaise,  Caen,  and 
other  places,  in  order  to  reduce  them  to  his  obedience,  where 
he  found  the  Duke  of  Bretagne,  who  stayed  there  some  time 
with  his  majesty. 

A  little  after  this,  the  Duke  of  Berry  went  from  Rouen  to 
Louviers,  thinking  to  find  the  Duke  of  Bourbon  there,  but 
being  disappointed  of  meeting  him,  he  immediately  came 
back  again.  Upon  his  return  to  Rouen,  he  was  with  great 
pomp  and  ceremony  conducted  into  the  town-hall  by  the 
Diagistratea  of  the  city,  who,  according  to  the  usual  custom 

VOL.  II.  Z 


83S  THE    SCANDALOUS    CHRONICLE.  [1465 

of  the  place,  acknowledged  him  for  their  duke  by  putting  a 
ring  on  his  finger;  afterwards  he  took  an  oath  to  maintain 
and  support  them  in  their  privileges  and  franchises,  and  im- 
mediately remitted  to  them  half  the  taxes  they  were  formerly 
used  to  pay.  This  act  of  generosity  won  the  hearts  of  the 
whole  city,  and  so  firmly  united  them  to  his  interest,  that 
the  nobility,  gentry,  clergy,  and  the  common  people,  vowed 
to  sacrifice  their  lives  and  fortunes  in  his  service,  and  to  re- 
main his  faithful  and  loyal  subjects  for  ever.  And  afterwards 
they  presented  him  an  old  book  of  records  that  was  in  the 
town-hall,  and  made  him  read  an  article  in  it  aloud  before 
all  the  people,  which  gave  an  account  of  a  king  of  France 
heretofore  who  at  his  death  left  two  sons,  the  eldest  of  whom 
succeeded  his  father,  and  the  youngest  had  the  duchy  of 
Normandy  for  his  appanage:  how  that  the  elder  brother,  as 
soon  as  he  was  settled  in  his  kingdom,  demanded  a  restitu- 
tion of  the  said  duchy,  and  being  denied,  how  he  made  war 
upon  his  younger  brother,  and  thought  to  have  taken  it 
from  him  by  force,  but  his  subjects  unanimously  joining 
with  him,  they  dethroned  his  brother  the  King  of  France, 
and  set  up  their  duke  for  king.  After  he  had  done  reading, 
they  boldly  told  him  they  feared  nothing  ;  that  their  for- 
tifications were  strong  and  in  good  repair ;  that  tliey  had 
great  store  of  cannon,  arms,  ammunition,  and  provision,  and 
could  upon  occasion  make  a  brave  defence,  assuring  him  they 
would  one  and  all  to  a  man  stand  by  him,  and  defend  him, 
themselves,  and  the  town,  against  any  opposers  what- 
soever. 

On  the  30th  of  December  of  the  same  year  the  king  in  his 
return  from  Lower  Normandy  arrived  at  Pont  Audemer,  and 
from  thence  marched  into  the  county  of  Neufbourg,  from 
whence  he  detached  the  Duke  of  Bourbon  with  a  body  of 
forces  to  summon  Louviers,  which  surrendered  on  the  Wed- 
nesday following,  and  the  Duke  of  Bourbon  took  possession 
of  it  for  the  king,  into  which  his  majesty  made  a  public 
entry  the  same  day  after  dinner.  From  Louviers  the  king 
marched  to  a  town  called  Pont  des  Arches,  about  four 
leagues  from  Rouen,  which  he  formally  besieged. 

On  Monday,  the  6th  of  January,  1466,  a  proclamation  wns 
issued  at  Paris,  commanding  all  the  sutlers  that  were  used  to 
fcH|>plj  the  army  with  provisions,  to  repair  immediately  to 


14G6   '  TI1E    SCANDALOUS   CHRONICLE.  S39 

tlie  camp  before  Pont  des  Arches,  and  all  the  prisoners 
were  ordered  to  be  ready  by  the  next  morning,  to  set  out 
for  the  same  place,  under  the  command  of  M.  Denis,  one  of 
the  four  aldermen  of  the  city,  who  was  appointed  to  take 
care  of  them. 

On  the  Wednesday  following  the  king  entered  Pont 
des  Arches,  and  M.  John  Hebert  with  several  others  who 
were  in  the  town  retired  to  the  castle,  which  three  days  after 
was  also  surrendered  to  the  king.  After  the  surrender  of 
the  town  and  castle,  the  citizens  of  Rouen  sent  deputies  to 
treat  of  an  accommodation,  who  highly  complained  of  the 
Dukes  of  Bourbon  and  Bretagne.  And  amongst  other  requests 
and  remonstrances  that  the  said  deputies  were  ordered  to 
make  to  the  king,  one  was,  that  his  majesty  would  be  pleased 
to  be  reconciled  to  them,  notwithstanding  what  they  had 
done ;  that  he  would  openly  declare  that  they  had  not  been 
wanting  in  their  duty,  nor  acted  contrary  to  his  interest ;  and 
that  he  would  grant  them  the  same  privileges  and  immu- 
nities he  had  granted  his  good  city  of  Paris ;  to  which  his 
majesty  answered,  he  would  consult  his  council  about  it. 

Whilst  this  affair  was  in  agitation,  several  of  the  king's 
party  had  free  admittance  into  Rouen,  and  conversed  fami- 
liarly with  the  citizens ;  in  the  mean  time,  the  Duke  ot 
Berry  and  several  of  his  adherents  retired  to  Honfleur  and 
Caen,  where  they  stayed  for  some  time.  During  these 
transactions,  M.  John  de  Lorrain  thought  to  have  made  his 
escape  into  Flanders,  but  was  taken  and  brought  before  the 
king,  who  disposed  of  most  of  the  officers  belonging  to  the 
duchy  of  Normandy,  putting  in  new  officers,  and  turning 
out  the  old  ones.  And  after  the  Duke  of  Berry's  leaving 
Rouen,  the  city  was  reduced  to  the  king's  obedience,  upon 
which  the  king  dismissed  all  his  Frank  archers  from  his 
service  till  the  1st  of  March  following,  sent  all  his  artillery 
to  Paris,  and  retired  to  Mount  St.  Michael  in  Lower  Nor- 
mandy. About  that  time  the  king  gave  the  command  of 
one  hundred  lances  which  belonged  to  M.  Charles  de  Melun 
to  the  Count  de  Dammartin,  who  was  with  him,  and  not 
long  after  deprived  him  of  his  office  of  high  steward  of  his 
household,  and  gave  it  to  M.  de  Craon  ;  however,  several 
people  were  of  opinion  that  M.  de  Melun  had  done  the  king 
tiigual  services,  and  been  very  faithful  to  him,  especially  iu 

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140  THE    SCANDALOUS    CHRONICLE.